Three names to watch for Rangers as trade deadline approaches

NY Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Vladislav Gavrikov defends against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 29: Kevin Rooney #17 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck as Vladislav Gavrikov #44 of the Columbus Blue Jackets defends during the second period at Madison Square Garden on October 29, 2021, in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Vladislav Gavrikov

It seems that Chris Drury and the front office enjoy going out to add a defenseman or two to the backend wherever it seems possible. With the Rangers needing an extra guy to slot in on the third pairing, there are rumors linking Russian defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov with Broadway. There is little doubt that the struggles of Harpur, Hajek, and Zac Jones during the season have left that spot unfulfilled on the roster, and Columbus may house the answer.

According to Arthur Staple of the Athletic, the asking price set by the Columbus Blue Jackets is a 1st round pick and a mid-round pick. Columbus is trying to use the return they got for David Savard from Tampa during the bubble season as a justification for this asking price, which is very high considering that this is someone who is likely to test the free-agent market at the end of the season regardless of where he is.

New York is in an admittedly unique position when acquiring players like this as the Blueshirts have both their own and Dallas’ first-round picks. If you cannot remember why the Rangers have the Stars’ first-round pick, it is from the Nils Lundkvist trade in the summer. This means that the Rangers could use the Stars’ pick in this deal and still keep their own to remove the fear of giving up a lottery pick should the worst happen.

Whether you think this is a possible deal that is worth it for the Blueshirts or not, it is fair to say that the management and front office of the Rangers is doing their due diligence in regard to the trade targets that might make sense for improving the roster. They clearly think that the third pairing can use an upgrade on the left-hand side, and with Gavrikov making just $2.8 against the cap, there’s enough space to acquire the player.