I’ve certainly belabored this point time and again on this website, but as the lucky gal tasked with reviewing Vladislav Gavrikov’s season, I am happy for the opportunity to re-emphasize all of the reasons I love having this man on the roster.
After all of the trades of the 2020-21 season, the Blue Jackets were left with a vacuum in both leadership and identity - with the departure of David Savard and Seth Jones, most notably, the defense that had always stood as a cornerstone of the Jackets’ late 2010’s identity of blue-collar, gritty style of play began to crumble and shift. However, with the influx of new players, the Jackets had an opportunity to redesign their identity. Enter: Vladislav Gavrikov.
First and foremost, the guy is a goofball. I love the nights when he’s mic’d up - he’s extra on his game, talking to himself and others in Russian and then translating for those reviewing the tapes. He sings along to the warm-up songs, cracks jokes with his teammates, and interacts with fans, trading sticks and pucks for socks and candy, which he drops off to a coach on the bench or shoves through a camera hole to his wife and young daughter, who are always there watching him play.
omg our hearts they're exploding pic.twitter.com/c6xAlZ8LIt— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 20, 2022
When the game actually starts though, his demeanor shifts - he’s often the guy tangled up in scrums, absolutely unafraid of throwing his large frame around in defense of his teammates. He and Elvis have a really fun relationship to watch - Gavy is always looking out for him in net.
Worth nothing Elvis and Gavrikov became fathers around the same time:
HEART. MELTING. pic.twitter.com/IyJDliGdkH— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) November 13, 2021
Anyways, now that I’ve presented my case for Vladislav Gavrikov’s invaluable on- and off-ice personality, let’s dig into his numbers for the last season.
Games Played: 80
5v5 CF%: 42.50
5v5 FF%: 42.50
According to CapFriendly.com, “Vladislav Gavrikov’s salary is $4,200,000 and his cap hit is $2,800,000 for the 2022-23 season. He is a 26 year old left defense who was born on Nov. 21, 1995. He was drafted 159th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 6th round of the 2015 entry draft. He has signed 2 contracts worth a total value of $11,100,000. Over a career that spans 4 seasons (with at least 1 NHL GP), he has a total 63 Pts in 204 GP, and 3 playoffs Pts in 12 GP. He will be a UFA at the end of the 2022-23 season when he is 27 years old.”
Gavrikov only had five goals this season, and two of them came in one game against the Islanders on March 29. Even though the Jackets didn’t get the W (4-3 final Islanders) and Gavy didn’t get the hat-trick, I remember the energy in the arena was palpable as everyone was surprised and then happy and then hopeful that he was going to get a third goal. That’s what I love about Gavrikov - everyone is always rooting for him!
I can’t think of one specific moment (I might be biased) but there were many, many instances of Gavrikov drawing dumb penalties and getting sent to the box when the Jackets could not afford to be down a man on the ice. Gavrikov had a team high of 68 penalty minutes, seconded by Sean Kuraly at 61 and Andrew Peeke at 60. Next season, I hope to see his PIM decrease and points increase!
It’s a B from me overall, and an A+ for personality, team morale boosting and leadership, and for providing the best social media content by way of funny faces, comical quips, and singalongs. What do you guys think? Rate Gavy’s season below:
How would you grade Vladislav Gavrikov’s season?
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