There’s plenty of chatter that David Savard is quickly becoming the “bell of the ball” when it comes to the NHL Trade deadline on defense. With Mattias Ekhlom likely not going anywhere, — as Nashville finds themselves in the playoff picture — Savard becomes the player most teams can slot into their top-four and not have to worry about how he’ll fit in or work with the rest of the roster.
With a trade likely, the Columbus Blue Jackets have decided to play it safe just five days out. Aaron Portzline of The Athletic is reporting that “David Savard will likely be a healthy scratch tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.” He adds, “Blue Jackets opting to protect one of the most sought-after players on the trade market ahead of Monday’s deadline.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean a trade is imminent or that the Blue Jackets have something pending. It could just be a precautionary measure in case talks pick up and a team comes forward as a likely fit. Should Savard get injured, he’s not going anywhere, so the Blue Jackets simply don’t want to risk it.
Interestingly, the Lightning are one of the team’s discussed when it comes to Savard’s name.
What Savard Offers
Savard, 30, is on an expiring contract with Columbus. He’s not likely to be back with the team next season so the right-handed blueliner is popular on most people’s trade bait boards. He carries a $4.25 million cap hit in the final season of a five-year, $21.25 million deal signed in 2015. He’s not going to provide much offensively, but he’s about as sound as it gets defensively. Although, in the right environment, he could post some points.
He averages nearly 20 minutes a night.