COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Blue Jackets introduced newly acquired Ivan Provorov on Wednesday after trading for the veteran defenseman earlier this month.
You can watch his first press conference as a Blue Jacket in the video player above.
Columbus acquired Provorov as part of a three-team trade involving the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings.
In exchange, Columbus gave up the 22nd overall in the 2023 NHL Draft and a conditional second-round pick in either the 2024 or 2025 NHL Draft.
Provorov received criticism this past season after he refused to wear a Pride-themed jersey for the Flyers, citing religious reasons. He was asked Wednesday about his decision.
“I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s choices. Everybody deserves to be happy, but my choice is to be true to myself and my religion,” said Provorov who’s Russian Orthodox. “But, like I said, everybody deserves to be happy, everybody deserves to be or do whatever they want and what makes them happy, and that’s my take on that.”
Provorov, 26, has registered 65 goals and 152 assists while averaging 24:05 of ice time in 532 career games with the Flyers. He has two years remaining on a six-year, $40.5 million contract he signed with Philadelphia in September 2019.
The 6-1, 201-pound blueliner was selected by the Flyers seventh overall in the 2015 NHL Draft one pick before the Blue Jackets selected defenseman Zach Werenski. He has collected 30 or more points four times in his seven NHL seasons and has twice scored 13 or more goals. He played 403 consecutive games to begin his career before missing the Jan. 4, 2022 game vs. Anaheim after being placed in COVID-19 protocol.