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At least 10 teams have inquired on Blue Jackets D Gavrikov

Vladislav Gavrikov Columbus Blue Jackets Vladislav Gavrikov - Getty Images

Contenders appear to be already lining up to bid for the services of Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Vladislav Gavrikov ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports at least 10 teams have already inquired on Gavrikov, who is a pending unrestricted free agent. 

"They do want to sign Vladislav Gavrikov, but if they can’t sign him, you know, it’s not just a first-round pick I think they’re going to ask for this guy. That’s the floor," LeBrun said on Insider Trading. 

"If you go back and look at what they got for David Savard a couple of years ago, I think the Blue Jackets are using that very much as their playbook here. They got a first and a third for Savard in that deal with Tampa. And I think the Blue Jackets view Gavrikov as a guy who is actually playing at a higher level than Savard was then. They view Gavrikov higher. He leads them in ice time. He plays in so many key situations.

"So, if he is going to be dealt, and there are at least 10 teams that have already inquired on Gavrikov, it’s going to be a first-rounder plus something else to get him on your team for the rest of the season."

Gavrikov has three goals and 10 points in 43 games this season while averaging 22:20 of ice time for the Blue Jackets, who have the worst record in the league.

The 27-year-old carries a cap hit of $2.8 million as he plays out of the last of a three-year, $8.4 million signed with Columbus in 2020.

A sixth-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2015, Gavrikov has 15 goals and 73 points in 247 career games.