Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov has been under contract for less than a year now but because he burned the first year of his entry-level pact in the playoffs last season, he will be in need of a new deal this summer.  Talks on a new contract have begun, reports Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription required), who adds that the focus is on getting a long-term deal done.

The 24-year-old has been a key part of the back end for Columbus this season, logging just shy of 19 minutes a night while chipping in with five goals and 13 assists.  While those don’t jump off the charts at first glance, he has been able to provide a steady performance on a team that has been hit hard by the injury bug this year; his 69 games played leads all Blue Jackets defensemen.

Gavrikov will be owed a qualifying offer of just over $874K, a five percent bump on his salary this season which excludes his signing bonus.