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Trade Grades: Ivan Provorov Is A Blue Jacket

Ivan Provorov
The Ivan Provorov trade grades are in. Which team won the three-way deal that involved the Kings, Flyers, and Blue Jackets? (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Trade Grades: Ivan Provorov Is A Blue Jacket

Maybe the final straw for Ivan Provorov in Philadelphia is when he passed on wearing the Gay Pride sweater. We’ll never know for sure but it was starting to feel like a Provorov trade was around the corner. The new front office led by Keith Jones didn’t waste any time starting this rebuild.

Massive news dropped midway through the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals between Vegas and Florida. The Flyers aren’t waiting around and are in the process of finalizing a three-team deal involving Provorov.

But who won the trade? That’s what we’re here to discuss. It’s time to hand out some trade grades!

Columbus Blue Jackets: Receive Ivan Provorov at 30% discount on the original $6.75 million AAV that expires after the 2024-25 season.

Grade B-

I’ll be the first to say, I’m not a Provorov fan. In fact, I think I think he’s closer to terrible than good. The analytics back that up too.

Provorov isn’t a great puck mover and his defensive impact is wildly overstated. In that same breathe, I’m not sure that ALL of the struggles are on him. Provorov was playing way too many minutes in Philadelphia (23:01 last year with Flyers) and is better suited as a second pair option. Something he should get to do in Columbus behind Zach Werenski.

The plan here actually makes some semblance of sense. Columbus is lacking blue line help. Werenski handles the power play while Provorov slots behind him as the second pair. This also gives Columbus a veteran option to pair with young stud David Jiříček. Columbus is also getting Provorov on a discounted rate. If the Blue Jackets fall out of the race again, that contract might look really appealing a year from now if Provorov rebounds with less responsibility.

The Blue Jackets are trying to win and I don’t hate this approach. They still hold the third overall pick and gave away the Kings first rounder they gave up in the Vladislav Gavrikov deal. Keep in mind Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo are free agents. Columbus used those expiring contracts to essentially acquire a discounted Provorov.

I don’t hate it…

Especially now that Mike Babcock is the new coach and they’re still trying to compete.

Philadelphia Flyers: Receive Sean Walker, Cal Petersen, prospect Helge Grans, LA Kings first & second round picks + second rounder from CBJ.

Grade B

I don’t think it was a perfect trade for the Flyers but it’s a good step in the right direction. Collecting three picks (a first and two second rounders) is a win. Provorov’s stock has been in decline and the fact that they got that kind of draft capital for him is a great thing. The Flyers still need to execute on those picks but at least they’re finally doing the right thing and starting over.

Eating the Cal Petersen deal stinks but maybe that was just the cost of doing business. There are really only two options here.

A: Petersen regains his form and the Flyers have a capable goalie. Who knows, maybe one that can be traded off when the value is higher!

B: Petersen stinks and helps the Flyers lose games.

Both seem like acceptable outcomes to me!

I also like Sean Walker. He’s not a world beater but the Flyers essentially take advantage of the fact that LA had too many right shot defensemen. Walker, 29 next season, carries an expiring deal of $2.65 million. A very cheap deal for a capable defenseman. Walker notched a CF% of 52.19 and 56.59 the year before. It’s blue line help that can be shipped out at the deadline for more assets too.

Los Angeles Kings: Kings will retain 30% of the Provorov deal

Grade F

WTF was that? I understand wanting to free up cap space for a Gavrikov extension but this was brain dead. The Kings are about to retain on a player that’s never played for them while being shipped to someone else. The Kings basically gave Sean Walker away for free to save about $2 million on the difference between the Provorov retention and what it would have cost to just bury Petersen in the minors. Was that really worth it?

For the life of me, this deal just makes absolutely no sense other than the fact that they were just fine losing Walker for free given the depth they have. Not sure that’s the best asset management but whatever.

Still, this is a playoff team that just signed up for dead cap while getting nothing back. Sounds like a non-starter in any trade talks.

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