Report: Blue Jackets felt they had deal with Bruins for Gavrikov


Earlier this week it seemed, based on much of the reporting, that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov would eventually be traded to the Boston Bruins before the March 3 NHL trade deadline.

One report even said the Bruins and Blue Jackets had the "framework" of a deal in place, and that the holdup was Boston needing to clear some salary cap space first.

Well, the Bruins ultimately went in a different direction and made a trade with the Washington Capitals on Thursday night to acquire defenseman Dmitry Orlov and bottom-six forward Garnet Hathaway.

How Bruins' trade for Orlov, Hathaway significantly improves their roster

How do the Blue Jackets feel about how this process transpired?

"Multiple team and league sources confirmed to The Athletic that the Blue Jackets firmly felt they had a deal in place with Boston for more than a week that would have sent defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to the Bruins for multiple picks and/or players," Aaron Portzline of The Athletic wrote Thursday night.

"The Blue Jackets believed the deal was done, sources said, but Boston repeatedly asked for more time. A deal isn’t official until it’s submitted to the NHL for approval."

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman provided his own intel on the situation during Friday's episode of the "32 Thoughts" podcast.


"I think earlier on Thursday, not long before that trade came down, Columbus found out the deal wasn't going to happen, " Friedman said. "And Columbus and Boston -- I don't know how to judge this, I don't know who is right and who is wrong -- but Columbus and Boston had very different opinions on where this trade was.

"Columbus thought they had a commitment. Boston felt it was never there. I had some teams telling me that Boston continued to look. I was actually on the phone talking to somebody, a GM, when I started to get news of the (Orlov/Hathaway trade) and he was like, 'Wow, I thought for sure Gavrikov was done.' Even depending on who you talk to, there are differing opinions on where this was."

Projected Bruins lines, pairings after trade for Orlov, Hathaway

How did the deal with the Capitals come together?

“We’ve clearly been in the marketplace to gauge what types of players would be available in adding to our current group," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told reporters on a Zoom call Thursday. "Inevitably, we did have to make a move with regards to opening up some space and Craig’s situation, but I think we were trying to attack in two different areas and both Dmitry and Garnet both bring some attributes that will complement our group."

The Bruins ended up making the right choice. Orlov is a better defenseman than Gavrikov, and they also were able to upgrade their bottom-six with the addition of Hathaway. For many reasons, this deal with the Capitals could end up being a home run for the Bruins.

For the Blue Jackets, they are in a tough spot now.

There's only a week to go before the trade deadline and several of the Stanley Cup contenders have already made a substantial move. There are still plenty of teams looking for a defenseman -- the Kings and Oilers, for example, have been linked to several of these players in rumors -- but the Blue Jackets might need to lower their asking price. Columbus would be wise to move Gavrikov before the deadline and not risk losing him for nothing as a free agent over the summer.