Buchnevich on the block and Hartford Wolf Pack coaching search
Recently, Brett Crygalis suggested that the New York Rangers may have RFA, Pavel Buchnevich on the trading block. This prompted David Staples of the Edmonton Journal to write that the Oilers should go after him in a trade.
I wonder if Jesse Puljujarvi might be part of the trade package for a Buchnevich, a Bennett, or some other player that a capped out team simply has to move in order to meet its cap commitments to retain more prized players.David Staples
Here’s the problem in the whole argument, the remaining cap space problem the Rangers have of just under $8M*, isn’t because of Buchnevich. He is unsigned, and thus not counted against the cap. The Rangers don’t solve anything by trading him and taking on a contract with a potential cap hit or for RFA, Puljujarvi which puts them in the same boat with a less productive player.
So is Buchnevich on the block? The short answer is no. Could he be dealt? Only if the right deal came along where the Rangers would be getting an upgrade. As of right now, the Rangers need to figure out where they are with Jacob Trouba, and then buyout Smith once he signs. From there it will be about trading players like Vlad Namestnikov, Ryan Strome, and possibly Kevin Shattenkirk or Chris Kreider.
*Figure based on armchair GM feature in Cap Friendly after sending down Matt Beleskey and adding Vitali Kravtsov to the lineup
What is going on in Hartford
The Rangers have added players via free agency for the Wolf Pack roster like Danny O’Regan and Greg McKegg but they still don’t have a coaching staff. I spoke with the Rangers about the coaching search and was told that the interview process is ongoing with no updates to report.
What amazes me is how not a single coaching candidate’s name has been mentioned throughout the summer. One name I directly asked about and we can rule out for a head coaching position is Marty St. Louis. The Connecticut resident is very happy being a dad and coaching his 3 boys.
So who will be the next head coach of the Rangers AHL affiliate? Your guess is as good as mine, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is someone connected to the United States development program or even a coach based in Europe.