The New York Rangers opted not to deal with the upcoming salary negotiations for winger Pavel Buchnevich. He was traded today to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Sammy Blais and a second round pick.
Implications of this move would indicate that there is more to come from both the Blues and the Rangers. Adding Buchnevich will help replace the void that will be left once St. Louis deals Vladimir Tarasenko.
The Rangers will avoid likely having to payout Buchnevich upwards to $6 million dollars over a new 5-7 year deal that he is seeking. This will also better position them for a potential trade for Jack Eichel in order to take on his $10 million cap hit.
Rangers trade Pavel Buchnevich
He finished as the 7th highest scoring RW, and 35th highest scoring forward. He had more points than the Leafs’ William Nylander who earns $6.96 million and signed in 2018. There was no way to get him to agree to a short-term deal for the number the team likely wanted.
Buchnevich was earning $3.25 million and wanted a long-term deal. The Rangers obviously were not comfortable with that and moved him for cap space more than anything else.
In return, the Rangers get more bottom six grit in Sammy Blais. The 6-2, 205 lbs winger is a straight up and down physical player who can chip in offensively. This past season he recorded 15 points in 36 games. Over the last two season he’s thrown 258 hits in 76 games played. A pure hard-nosed physical presence.
The real key here for the Rangers is his salary at just $1.5 million. The 25 year-old will be an RFA with arbitration rights. Drury also picked up a second round pick in the 2022 draft.
New York now has over $22 million in cap space per PuckPedia, expected to by near 26 once DeAngelo buyout complete.
Hold on to your horses. Something else is coming.
More on Sammy Blais
Per the team’s press release:
Blais, 25, skated in 36 games with St. Louis this past season, registering eight goals and seven assists for 15 points, along with 12 penalty minutes. The 6-2, 205-pounder has skated in 119 career NHL games over parts of four seasons (2017-18 – 2020-21), all with the Blues, registering 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points, along with 44 penalty minutes. Blais helped St. Louis win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19. The Montmagny, Quebec native was originally selected by the Blues in the sixth round, 176th overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
The Rangers currently have eight picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, including three picks in the first two rounds and six picks in the first four rounds.
Sabres seemed to have fleeced the Flyers on this one.