The 2023 NHL trade deadline has finally come and gone, with a huge number of trades made around the league. Most of the biggest moves were made in the days and weeks leading up to the deadline, and this was especially true for the Blue Jackets, who made four trades in two days – but did not make any trades on the day of the deadline itself.
They kicked things off on Tuesday by moving injured forward Gustav Nyquist to the Minnesota Wild for a 5th round draft pick at the upcoming 2023 draft. Nyquist may not play again in the regular season (though, it’s seeming more likely now with the NHL’s crackdown on trading injured players); but he should be a valuable add for the Wild in the playoffs.
Jarmo’s ability to grab a solid haul was ultimately limited here because of the injury situation, but he did well to get something in return for an expiring asset. This was a fine return, considering the circumstances. Nyquist will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is it possible that the team looks to bring him back on a cheaper deal? Grade: C
This pre-empted the biggest deal the Jackets would make at the deadline, as word came out later that night that they’d found a new home for their minute-munching defenseman and long-time goaltender.
If this one didn’t tug at your heart strings, are you even a Blue Jacket fan? Korpisalo was the longest tenured goaltender in the history of the franchise. Gavrikov, a steady shutdown defenseman for the last several seasons. Both of them are great guys that will be sorely missed on and off the ice here.
But like Nyquist – both of them are unrestricted free agents, who don’t fit into the long-term plans here. Korpisalo was signed to a new contract last summer to do exactly what he did; work his way back into the league and get another shot at a big contract and job elsewhere. I do think the team wanted to keep Gavrikov, but they couldn’t come to an agreement on a number of contract years.
The Jackets weren’t comfortable keeping him around too long, considering the prospects that are on the way. The rumored asking price for Gavrikov alone was a first and third round pick. So what happened, why weren’t these deals made separately?
In short, I think it quickly became a buyer’s market. When teams like Washington (Dmitry Orlov) and Nashville (Mattias Ekholm) forayed into selling defensemen, the market flooded; and Jarmo had to scramble to make the most of the situation after the rumored Boston trade fell through. Gavrikov alone was likely no longer worth the return he wanted – but when he packaged Korpisalo into the deal, he was able to get it done. I think this is reasonable enough … Korpisalo alone was likely just going to fetch a mid/late round pick. Grade: B