New York Rangers brief Pavel Buchnevich tribute video raises eyebrows

pavel buchnevich video
Mar 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) fights for position against New York Rangers center Greg McKegg (14) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Pavel Buchnevich returned to Madison Square Garden last night and was greeted by old teammates and fans with affection. Dubbed “Captain Happy”, he was an integral part of the Rangers top line for well over a year.

“We were joking because on one of our first shifts, Mika (Zibanejad) tried to him me back door and [Buchnevich] almost tipped it in,” a smiling Chris Kreider said after the game. “Chemistry was still alive.”

The 26 year-old spent 5 seasons in New York and is still very close with both Artemi Panarin and Igor Shesterkin. Yet, when it came time for the Rangers organization to welcome back a widely popular player, it left many perplexed.

With 13:45 remaining in the first period, an extremely brief video clip followed by a “Thank You! Buch” likely had many players on both benches wondering, ‘what was that?’

Pavel Buchnevich brief tribute video

pavel buvhnevich
Mar 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) controls the puck against New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Buchnevich graciously stood up and waved to the crowd as they chanted ‘BUCH!’

Still, one has to wonder why the video contained just a clip of one single goal? Buchnevich scored 79 times and assisted on 116 others in 301 career games for the Rangers. He was loved by his teammates, coaches, and staff.

It just seemed off for an organization that prides itself on being first in class in everything they do.

Maybe the split was contentious I thought? That was not the case.

Forever Blueshirts has learned that Pavel did not ask to be traded, nor did he make any outlandish contract demands. According to a source, Buchnevich would likely have taken a little less than the four-year $23.2 million contract ($5.8M AAV) he signed with the Blues in July.

Chris Drury has certainly taken some heat for the trade. Not because he opted to trade Buchnevich, which everyone understood was based on future cap concerns and giving younger players like Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière more ice time.

The heat stems from the fact that Drury got fleeced by a veteran GM in Doug Armstrong, who has a track record of getting the better end of deal. Trading a first-line player, regardless of your cap situation for a 4th liner and a second pick is a questionable return for any GM.

Not that I’m saying that’s the reason for the brief tribute video– but some others might.

Note: I reached out to the Rangers for comment. I will update if a response is received.

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