Thoughts following the Pavel Buchnevich contract

In case you missed it, and since it was signed at 8pm on a Friday night, you might have, the Rangers have inked Pavel Buchnevich to a two-year contract extension at $3.25 million per season. This comes about a week after the Rangers inked their other big RFA, Jacob Trouba, to a monster deal. With those two locked up, arguably their two most important, and most expensive, RFAs are signed.

1. This is a good deal for both player and team. The Rangers are low on cap space and a longer term deal might have hurt them even more. For Buchnevich, he just scored 20 goals in 60 games. A long term deal on that number might have hurt his long term cash in. It makes sense to get the bridge, improve on that and possibly hit 30 goals, then cash in after two years when the Rangers free up tons of cap space.

2. This should eliminate the idea that the Rangers are going to dangle Buchnevich to free up cap space. It’s rare to get a 20 goal scorer for $3 million and change. In the salary cap era, it’s all about bang for your buck, and this is as good as it gets beyond your ELC value. Buchnevich is a top-six winger who already has chemistry with the team’s 1C. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

3. It sounds like this deal was actually finalized a while ago, but the Rangers and the Buchnevich camp delayed the announcement. With the way the NHL works, and GMs looking to take advantage of cash strapped teams, Jeff Gorton likely wanted to wait until he had a cap savings move in place before announcing this deal. That’s my guess. Sunday’s are rare days for announcements, so I wouldn’t be surprised if something is announced today or early next week. Of course I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing is announced either.

4. I have Brendan Lemieux pegged for about $1 million and Tony DeAngelo pegged for about $2 million – maybe a little less. If you assume $3 million for those two, then the Rangers would need to clear about $7 million to get under the cap, without regard for bonuses for Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov. It is not an easy task, but it is certainly doable.

5. At the risk of just regurgitating what @HockeyStatMiner (a great follow on Twitter) said, the Blueshirts can do this by buying out Brendan Smith to clear about $3 million, demoting Matt Beleskey ($1 million), and then trading one of Vlad Namestnikov or Chris Kreider. Instead of trading one of them, they could buyout Kevin Shattenkirk, which would get them under this year, but screw them next year when there is virtually no cap savings on that buyout. Of course, trading Shatty at 50% retained would do it as well. Basically, the Rangers have options, and it is not a foregone conclusion that Kreider is the odd-man out.

6. Speaking of buyouts, the second buyout window for the Rangers closes on Wednesday. Everyone and their mother is going to say that the Blueshirts are going to buyout someone, but until that move actually comes, take all “sources” with a grain of salt. Only take something seriously if there’s is an actual person behind the account, and not “HockeyInsidrrrrrrrr” on Twitter. Larry Brooks has been missing a lot lately, but he still has an inside ear to the organization. Bob McKenzie and Elliotte Friedman are the best for this.

7. I still think the Rangers are going to prefer the trade route, even at 50% retained, over buyouts. It just makes more sense logically, especially with Shatty. I mentioned in point #4 about bonuses for ELCs, and those could get up to $4 million next season if both Kravtsov and Kakko exceed expectations. That may be a problem if Kreider does extend in New York.

"Thoughts following the Pavel Buchnevich contract", 5 out of 5 based on 13 ratings.
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  1. Well, at least some of the uncertainty has been resolved, at least for those of us on the outside looking in. I agree that the FO is w-a-a-a-y ahead of the rest of us in knowing what’s going to happen next, but, at least this finalizes the buy out window, so we’ll know sooner, rather than later, what’s happening.

  2. I hope they don’t trade Buch but the deal might actually make him even more attractive … again, I hope not.

      1. I believe that Buchnevich is on the cusp of becoming a very good player. I am glad they have signed him.

      2. I believe that as well, I was just suggesting the contract makes him even more attractive to another team because it’s more than 1 year at a relatively low cap hit.

  3. Buyout Smith
    Trade Names
    Trade Strome
    Demote Beleskey
    Sign DeAngelo for $2M per
    Sign Lemieux fr $1M per
    Sign Brian Boyle


    Hajek (D get rotated in games for a while)


    1. If Names and Strome were tradable wouldn’t they have been traded by now?

        1. Not buying it. The team is in no position to haggle when all they need to do is move their contracts.

          1. Teams move players for cap purposes all the time. You think that other teams are balking at trading with the Rangers because everyone knows that they need to move players for cap purposes?

            If the Rangers really had to? They could buyout Smith and Shatty or Staal, and be cap compliant, without trading anyone. I assume that Beleskey gets demoted 100%. Staal would be the better buyout, by a mile.

  4. I don’t understand why ADA gets so much money in these models. He has no leverage in this situation and has actually proved very little. I agree he is promising, but he can certainly be signed to a one year deal for $1M. A two year deal would likely be more, but $2M still seems a stretch.

    1. Actually, I don’t understand why ADA and LeMieux are treated as untouchables in these discussions. Yes, ADA is offensively talented, but so is Fox, and we have plenty of other D prospects, as well. He’ll have to get a lot better defensively to stay here long term. LeMieux is “gritty”, and I know that a lot of fans like that, but “gritty” third and fourth line players are readily available at low cost.

      1. ADA has proven he can put up points at the NHL level. Fox hasn’t played a game in the league yet.Tony is discussed as if he is untouchable because of his skill set that he is beginning to harness. If I am a GM I want to keep talented players around as much as possible. I like Lemieux, but he is the more easily replaced player.

  5. Rick Carpiniello’s article on The Athletic sees Buchnevich’s new contract puts Rangers four million over cap. And regarding buyouts, Shattenkirk and Smith are most likely candidates. He mentions Kreider as not being dealt for chump change, and certainly not just to clear cap. He also mentions any buyout of Names as not worth cost, more likely Rangers eating some salary.

    I think the Rangers will trade player(s) and eat salary of contract of player(s) being dealt, and a prospect will be included as a sweetener.

    1. Cut the cord with Staal & Smith. Do everything you can to sign Kreider and Lemieux & D”Angelo. . Trade for Ryan Reaves, with in 2 years we will be vying for the Cup!!

  6. I’m just glad they signed Buch, next is ADA, and Lemieux. We can get rid of excess baggage to get below the cap, and then sign Kreider for 5@$7 or so. This is how I see it, but stranger things have happened in the past, so expect anything within the next few days!!!!!!

    1. I think ADA is a moron with a bad attitude and the Rangers don’t want to get stuck with a loose cannon/locker room cancer. If he can keep his cool and not say stupid racist things, not mouth off to referees, etc.?, they will lock him up. If he can’t control himself–they can part with him. But with that talent–they will for sure give him a chance.

      1. DeAngelo didn’t have any big on-ice issues last season and he certainly was not viewed as a locker-room cancer. Instead, the kid took his lumps when DQ sat him and said that he understood and learned from his mistakes. It was pretty evident from his play and from his greatly increased TOI that the brass grew more confident in him. I think that continuing to comment about his past mistakes is rather unfair to the player. I look forward to seeing if he can improve even more.

        1. Hi guys – new to this site and excited about the upcoming season. We will certainly have a lot to discuss. Regarding ADA – I think management has lowered their expectations with regard to where he might fit with this future Ranger Team. Certainly bringing in Trouba and Fox, two RHD that most believe will slot in ahead of ADA means that his expectation is at best a second or quite possibly a third pair Defenseman on this team. I also believe that if the Rangers fail to move/buyout Shattenkirk for some reason, ADA should be traded – given the tremendous amount of talent the Rangers have now in the minors at D. While I don’t think he is a locker room issue to be fair he does lose his cool on the ice (and possibly at other times we don’t see as fans) and his penalty minutes to TOI ratio as horrible. He has offensive skills but my impression is that on defense he is a bit physically weak in front of his own net as well as with his puck control in the corners. Time will tell but this team does have other and potentially better options now on D in the future and other decisions to make – probably one of the biggest reasons why signing him was not a priority.

          1. Broadway Blues

            First of all welcome to the site, and enjoy all the input we have here.

            That said, I have to disagree on a point, or two. Defensively he, ADA, is much better than Shattenkirk, and is willing to take the body, where the other guy refuses to make contact at all costs. Fox hasn’t skated yet in the NHL, so we don’t really know what he can, or can’t do.
            I hope he isn’t another Hoby Baker player who couldn’t make it in the pros. Regarding his so called racist remarks, he was a kid, he made a mistake, but there are people who will never forgive, so be it. He didn’t get into any discussions on this subject, he paid his dues, and earned his playing time. He grew up before our very eyes, and now he plays with heart, and discipline, without all the hoopla on, or off ice. Bottom line, ADA will play for us for a few more years, and he will be an effective player!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Hey Walt thanks for the welcome! – My point is that he was brought here with high expectations. He was sat last year and yes he did start to come around but I am not certain that level of play is sustainable over the long term. (plenty of players can play well for periods of time but the better players can sustain that level long term) My guess is that Ranger Management is thinking the same way and that is why both Trouba and Fox were brought in. Yes he can be an effective player but he is destined to be a third or fourth pairing now (Fox will be the real deal for this team) You don’t need a player with offensive skills and weak defensive skills on a third pairing – that is why I have my doubts

  7. based on buch raw stats this seems like a fair deal all around. he may have even been able to get a bit more but bridge deals usually involve less money for shorter duration.

    now does he become trade fodder say next summer ? I wouldn’t rule it out, but that really depends on how the rookies progress and Kreider plays out.

  8. It’s a good deal for the NYR, always pay someone whose game is on the rise and not the other way around.
    Looks like CK is gone after this signing, for me it doesn’t make sense to pay for an often-injured, career 40-50 points player with a contact of 7X7, and CK is going to be 29 when the new contact begins and I don’t see CK’s game will go to another level after that.

  9. I don’t get why so many fans are so high on DeAngelo, he is a BAD Dman defensively, just watch him play defense when he’s on the ice, he is a time bomb waiting to be happen. DeAngelo put up some points in a tanking season, So what? He is not the 2nd coming of Leech.

    1. Hey Larry – I had high hopes for him when he first came over from Arizona but after watching him play would tend to agree with your assessment of his defensive play in his own zone. The ADA fan club currently resides over at Blue Shirt Banter Blog if you are in the mood to seriously debate his worth – be prepared, however, for some heavy criticism and ridicule (warning some members there are just abusive to those with viewpoints such as yours)

  10. Lias Anderson is a bust so far, and he doesn’t deserve a top 9 forward position next season. I know he is a good kid with good character all that, but the kid has no tools.

    1. brutal. toolbox limited, exceptional in no particular category – tough way to break into the NHL that way. its ok to be a character guy as a forward, let alone a top ten pick, but you better be able to get on the forecheck quick.

      1. This is a big year for the kids, Lias, Filip, and Brett. They need to start making their mark and impact on the team, if the Rangers are going anywhere, success wise, this year.

        1. Agreed – Interested to see what the Rangers plan for Strome will be if these kids play well at center.

        2. seems like they were just drafted but amazingly it will be their d+3,3 and 4 years respectively. not out of line to expect career progression.

          1. To me it’s clear that Chytil has the tools for the NHL, Lias and Howden have a lot to prove.

          2. for sure on chytil, howden found trumps wall, I think he def has nhl tools, lias – lots to prove.

  11. Posted this in the prior article by mistake, lol.

    I read Brooks’ articles and it’s clear that he no longer has an in with the team.

    I do not believe that Shatty will be bought out. The 2nd year, which Brooks doesn’t even mention, is a brutal cap hit, like $6M in dead cap space. The Rangers would rather retain 50% in a trade then have $6M in dead cap space in 2020-21.

    It now appears like the Rangers are going to cave on the Kreider situation and give him something like a 7 x $7 contract. The Hayes and Anders Lee contracts have set the market and if the Rangers want to retain CK, and they absolutely do, then this is the contract that they are going to have to give him.

    So, Smith buyout, Names trade, Beleskey demotion, and DeAngelo and Lemiuex signings for one year each at qualifying offers ($1M each) gives the Rangers approx $2M in cap space, $1M if the Rangers need to retain $1M in the Names trade.

    The real wildcards are what the Rangers do with Shatty and Strome. The Shatty situation is interesting. I guess it will depend on the trade market and whether the Rangers will be willing to retain up to 50% of his cap hit in the trade.

    For Strome, I guess it also depends on the trade market. Does Chytil get the 2C? Does Krav actually play 2C to get him in the top 6?

    If nothing else, this has to be one of the most exciting upcoming seasons we have had in a while. And it’s great that it includes so many young players.

    1. If they keep Shattenkirk, then ADA should be moved in a trade – they would have Trouba, Fox, Shattenkirk and ADA on RHD and I don’t see Trouba and Shattenkirk anywhere but first and second pairing and Fox possibly at third (to start off) Still would need to shed $$ and also makes it more difficult to deal with Kreider situation.

      1. That’s the big issue if they do not trade Shatty, is having the 4 RH D men.

        They could put Shatty on the left side, but that blocks Hajek, so it will be interesting to see what thy do with Kevin.

        Staal is the one that should be the odd man out, but the Rangers love him and will not get rid of him, like they should.

        1. Staal’s days are numbered – Rangers have plenty of nice LHD prospects in the pipeline – we just need to be patient – can’t remember the last time we were so stocked in the minors – nice feeling to have.

          1. I have been numbering Staal’s days here for 2 years now, going on 3, lol.

            It’s like the monster in the movie that just doesn’t die no matter what you do to it, until the end of the movie, lol.

          1. Ok by me, but if they were going that route then I think that they just would buy him out.

            The Rangers are very big on giving players their dignity, especially the ones that they love. I think they did that with Girardi. Better to let them go then healthy scratch them.

    2. as I wrote, I can see buch ultimately becoming trade material before his deal is up. they drew the line with hagelin on how much they’ll pay a third line forward. IF that’s where he ultimately falls on this team he will have the same result.

    3. Excellent assessment. I think Chityl is a big test for Quinn. He is phenomenally talented but does not always know what he is doing (hopefully experience will fix that) and is invisible on most of his shifts. He needs more intensity and dedication to success. Quinn has to find a way to get there. Maybe the responsibility of being a 2C or a second line wing, maybe a fourth line role to get him used to a world in which flashy plays don’t distract from the big picture, maybe some time in Hartford to let him know that his present effort is not good enough. I don’t know the answer of course – the key is for Quinn et al to read him and divine what is the best course.

      As for Kravtsov, I really believe he should start in Hartford. He’s a kid and not used to the American game. Hopefully, come the first of the year, we will see him in NY as a player who can really contribute. I also think it is bad for the development of players like Chityl and DeAngelo to clutter up the roster with kids who are not ready (and in some cases never will be). I’m fine with a few well chosen kids – Kakko obviously and Hajek, Fox, Howden should all get serious consideration, but Andersson belongs in Hartford even if he is the best Ranger forward in camp (spoiler alert – he won’t be). And serious consideration means the players have to show they appear to belong, not roster spots on a silver platter.

      1. Thank you Raymond.

        I’m ok with Chytil as 2C if his wingers are CK and Buch. Those 2 are strong enough to take pressure off the kid.

        As far as Krav goes, there is no way he’s going to Hartford. As a matter of fact, he may be more NHL than Kakko, and Kakko will surely be with the big club. Do not be surprised if Krav out produces Kakko.

  12. Rick Carpiniello of the Athletic loves Staal, says he would thrive without anchors like Pionk and ADA, good 3rd pair guy sheltered. Obviously he’s not an analytics guy, but does he reflect management’s feelings toward Staal? PROBABLY. I think Smith is 99.999% gone, but, like it or not, Staal is here to stay and will get second pair minutes. Hajek or Rykov will get LD third pairing minutes at least to start the season. We have the forwards to be a playoff team, but the defense is worrisome and Hank is not the Hank of 5 years ago.

    1. There is no way on yellow hell that Shattenkirk is a buyout candidate….This would be an organizational disaster of a decision……Adding that kind or any kind of dead-cap space is not good……Smith….goes to AHL………Namer is as good as gone…..Kreider plays without a contract extension is possible…hockey writers are split between trade and Rangers signing him,

      1. I think CK’s deal is announced after the Rangers complete all their “cap” business.

        Buying out Shatty is not an option. If they trade him with 50% retainage, trade Names, demote Beleskey, then they could demote Smith as opposed to buying him out. Then Shatty’s contract is off in 2 years and no dead cap space due to buyouts for this year.

  13. Just as a side note, the Rangers have 23 rostered players when someone says they are $4m+ over the salary cap. With the addition of Lemieux and DeAngelo that’s 25, therefore we know at least 2 players have to be sent down to the AHL or somehow eliminated from the roster. That means at a minimum Belesky and probably Mckegg which is a savings of 1.75M … so in reality we’re at $2.25M plus the cost of Lemieux and DeAngelo. Buying out Shattenkirk pretty much resolves that problem for this year … just not the following year. Trading Kreider and going with 22 rostered players instead of 23 would also resolve the problem. I’m not suggesting either should be done, just that the situation isn’t quite as dire as some pundits like to make it out as.

    1. Trust me, I have done a hundred armchair GMs, and all the Rangers have to do is:

      Demote Beleskey (100% happening)
      Trade Names, even if $1M cap retained
      If Shatty gets traded, even at 50% cap retained, then Smith can be sent demoted as opposed to a buyout.
      If Shatty is NOT traded, then Smith getting bought out does the trick.

      Zero reason to trade Kreider for cap reasons. None.

      1. Geez, I said I suggest neither buying out Shattenkirk or trading Kreider. The whole point of the comment was to show that if you’re going to say we’re $4M+ over the salary cap and STILL have to sign DeAngelo and Lemieux then you’re mischaracterizing the situation. We’ll be fine.

  14. Just guessing and I’m probably way off base but I think there may be two scenarios here…

    1. JG and JD are really at a standstill and are genuinely confused about what to do next. Some feelers out and Waiting for phone calls that may or may not be returned.


    2. JG and JD are about release a $hit load of moves and transactions that were just waiting for Buch to sign. Some of these moves just might surprise us either badly or for the good, I’m thinking (hoping) good. Again guessing but when the dust settles I think we are going to play a cap relief game with a team (Vegas maybe) and come away with some assets that will help the team.

    Looking forward to scenario #2…. LOL

  15. I think highly of Howden, he might be the best coming out of last year’s NYR rookie forwards. Howden had a good season until he got hurt and hit the rookie wall when he came back. Howden works hard and he has tools to be a 40 points NHL player easily, definitely has higher ceiling than Anderson. I can’t help myself laughing when BSB gave Anderson a ‘C’ and Howden a ‘D+’.

    Since everyone loves stats here, so let’s compare last season’s stats between Chytil, Andersn and Howden:

    Chyti 75 games 11G 12A 23 PTS -22
    Howden 66 games 6 G 17A 23 PTS -16
    Anderson 42 games 2 G 4 A 6 PTS -13

    Howden got his points mostly in the first half last season before he got hurt, Chyti who everyone thinks he is a can’t miss and a potential star, had the same stat as Howden while played 9 more games, and then Anderson’s stats, well. So I just don’t get that Anderson automatically get a top 9 spot and Howden is a ‘maybe’ top 9, mostly a 4th line C?
    And how can anyone grade Anderson higher than Howden from last season?
    How? Because Anderson has a good character?

    1. The real mitigating factor between howden and chytil is age … Chytil was 19, howden was 20. also chytil shot production was almost double.

      1. Don’t forget Chytil played mainly on 2nd and 3rd line, while Howden played on 3rd and 4th line. Chytil played 9 more games than Howden. Chyti is a -22, Howden is a -16.

  16. Trade Strome before Names, Names is more talented and more skilled player than Strome. Strome basically is another Jimmy Vesey. Give Strome’s spot to one of the kids. (but rumor says right now neither of them has any takers in a trade.)

  17. I am rather amused how fans so often want to judge young players and determine that they are ‘busts’ early on based on limited development time and insufficient information. ADA was called a bust by so many during his first season in New York that I’d have a nice wad of cash if given a dollar each time it was said. Then last year happens and he leads all defensemen in points and other stats despite playing 15 – 20 games less than the others. His defense in his own end also improved markedly. Yet I see the same kinds of things said about him that were said before last season. He isn’t perfect but guess what, he is still learning. Defense is one of the most difficult positions to learn. I think this season will tell us much more about him.

    The same goes for the three young centers. While Chytil might be the most talented, Howden and Andersson were both very good and highly touted junior players. Center is also a difficult position in the NHL. Until we see them play more at their natural positions, I would not be so quick to judge. Sure, a lot needs to be proven, but the talent scouts on these comment threads too often rush to judgment in my opinion.

    1. ADA had a good Feb and March, 17 points in those 2 months for a tanking team this year. Let me see him do it again for a contending team and play some shutdown defense against stars like Crosby and Ovie in a must win game.

      I have nothing against Mr.Andersson and he is a young player with good character all that, and let’s put his terrible stats aside, what tools does he have to be a good NHL player? Does he has good speed? Does he have a physical presence? Is he a good checker? Does he have a good shot? Is he a good passer? Does he have a great hockey mind to see things happen before anyone else? To be honest, I don’t see any of those skills after his first year. Someone would tell me that I am wrong because young players will develop skills in NHL etc etc…but some skills you aren’t going develop in NHL like speed, physical presence…and I don’t see any tools in Mr.Andersson to make me feel that he’s going to be a good player in the NHL.

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