The St. Louis Blues have gone ahead Pavel Buchnevich of the New York Rangers, according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet adds what the Rangers will receive Sammy blais and a 2022 second-round pick in return.
Buchnevich, 26, is a free agent restricted to just one year from UFA status, which means any long-term deal he signs with the Blues would come at a cost. However, it could certainly pay off after his standout 2020-21 campaign, in which he scored 20 goals and 48 points in 54 games, establishing himself as a true top-six marker. Buchnevich averaged nearly 19 minutes a night for the Rangers last season, playing primarily with Mika Zibanejad other Chris kreider.
The key to Buchnevich’s performance that makes him so attractive is that only eight of his points came with the man advantage. A dangerous player when he kills on penalties and with uniform positive force, the 6’3 “Buchnevich can help replace some of the offense that St. Louis is losing this summer. Jaden schwartz, Tyler bozak other Mike hoffman are all pending unrestricted free agents, while the relationship with Vladimir Tarasenko It has deteriorated to the point where a trade is still expected.
In Blais, the team is giving up another member of its 2018-19 Stanley Cup roster, but one who still hasn’t changed much from the player he was then. The 25-year-old forward certainly fits New York’s new “tough to play” identity as he brings a lot of physicality to the table, but he only has 35 points in 119 career regular-season games.
The key here is salary cap space for the Rangers, who were seeking a possible arbitration award in excess of $ 5 million for Buchnevich after two excellent seasons. If they weren’t going to sign him to a multi-year deal as a centerpiece from the start, it made sense to walk away now. Still, the comeback is somewhat disappointing for a player who was so successful this year, even if Blais is signed to a reasonable $ 1.5 million cap.
With extreme youths like Alexis Lafreniere, Vitali Kravtsov other Kaapo kakko Once in place, the Rangers didn’t have much room for Buchnevich to advance. It’s the exact opposite in St. Louis, where he could very well slide down the top line next season, depending on how things play out for the rest of the offseason.