Trading Pavel Buchnevich *right now* would be folly

As trade season ramps up, there are more and more calls to trade specific players. Pavel Buchnevich seems to be the most targeted among skaters under contract to trade. Larry Brooks seems adamant about it, saying the Rangers need to cut costs by trading him. I staunchly disagree.

First things first, we as bloggers need to take blame for some of the Buchnevich hate. Buchnevich was the first really hyped prospect the Rangers had in a while, and his KHL numbers suggested he might be a truly elite player. Thus we as bloggers hyped and hyped, and he never met that Evgeni Kuznetsov of Vladamir Tarasenko numbers. I played a big role in that, and I own part of the out of control hype machine. Sorry!

That said, Buchnevich isn’t a “bust” or “useless” as many have described him. Buchnevich is, at the very least, a 40-50 point player who is a good fit on the top-nine of a team that desperately needs secondary scoring. He’s averaged 40+ points through his first three full seasons (82-game pace). Buch has been extremely snake-bitten this season (SH% of 9.5%, career average of 12.5%), but he’s still on an 82-game pace of 15-30-45. All this while also driving offense and doing some of the little things for Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad to do their thing. As mentioned on the podcast, he does the dirty work for them.

That brings us to Buchnevich’s contract. Buchnevich carries a $3.25 million cap hit through the end of next season, when he will be an arbitration-eligible RFA. A 40-50 point player who drives offense at under $5 million (5%-6% of the cap ceiling) is worth the money, and Buchnevich comes in at just 4% of the current cap ceiling. For a team with $20 million committed to two players for the next six seasons, the Rangers need to find bargains. At his current contract, Buchnevich is one of those bargains.

Next contract aside for the moment, since we are talking about this year’s trade deadline, the Rangers need players like Buchnevich to fill out their forward depth. All teams need players like Buchnevich, who drive offense and aren’t a total disaster in their own end. Depth players matter, and Buchnevich is one of the better bargains at the moment. For a team in a “cap crunch,” trading him now would be folly*.

*Disclaimer: No player is untradeable, and if there is a great deal for him on the table, then by all means trade him. The point of this post is about dumping him for futures or as a cap dump.

Show More
  • Simply, trading Buch would be idiotic. “Folly” is not a strong enough word David, lol.

    And I’m sure there are plenty of Ranger fans who are not a fan of Buch’s game, which is fine, but he is a talented, cost controlled player. No reason to trade him, whatsoever.

    OT, the 49ers blew it, big time.

    • Yeah the 49’s blew it, usually I don’t care who wins the Super Bowl (unless it’s the Giants) but I was kinda happy for Andy Reid and Mahomes is a kid I can root for. Congrats to them.

  • I’m all for trading Buchy (maybe packaged with Georgie if it brings back a bigger return?). I’m also in favor of trading him if it helps keep Tony D., Strome or even Kreider in grand scheme of things. He gets a lot of top 6 minutes, but he’s neither a sniper or a physical “mucker”. Maybe another team or system will benefit his game.

  • If only he could get his psychological edge improved. Confidence is a big part of playing well. When he struggles to get goals it shows on his face. Then he seems to get in a rut. He is NOT a do nothing, but his stretches with little or no points appear to get him off where his game should be.

  • I can live with, or without Buch being on this team. He is way too moody for my taste. He sits and sulks instead of getting in there and mixing it up, and on too many occasions he passes off when there is a clean shot to be had. When he doesn’t show up, he is moved down to the 4th line, and that exacerbates his issues .

    OTOH he is under a reasonable contract, and for the production, well it’s in line with the NHL players scoring what he does. I wish he would hit the gym, get a little muscle mass on his twiggy body, and maybe win some board battles. If he is traded I wouldn’t shed a tear, but if he stays, I’d like some more effort on his part!!!!!!!!!

    • Spot on Walt. What you see is what you get with Bush. Has some talent, but definitely not elite. When was the last time he scored a high-light goal with all his talent? I also could go either way in trading him or not. I can’t see being a championship team with, non-consistent, soft, head case players. He is a similar player to Anisimov was when he was a Ranger. Not bad, ,has talent, but not great either. On second thought, get rid of him in a package, he’s certainly not Kovalov!

  • As Walt also said, I can go either way on Buch. I would not mind if he had more goal scoring in his game, but he is what he is. He would be great as a 3rd line winger, but not on this team.

    It may be worthwhile packaging him with someone else to get a hefty return, but I would concentrate on moving Krieder & Fast & Georgi before I worry about Buch.

    • I would concentrate on making moves that could allow us to keep Kreider before I worry about Buch. Don’t get me wrong, I like Buch as a player, and even as a person (he really does try, but I think he’s got a problem with his facial nerves or muscles. His smile, when you do get to see it, is extremely crooked, and I think he’s very self conscious about it). Look at Strome, no matter what he does, we hear comments about how he only looks good because he’s paired with Panarin. Well, how good do you think Buch would be without Zibanejad and Kreider? I just think that Kreider is a vital part of this team’s “core”, and can be that for another few years, long enough to bring the young guns (Chytil, Kappo, hopefully Kravstov, maybe Barron) up to speed. Buch will always be a good player, but I think that what we’ve seen is what we’re going to get.

  • Why would listen to Larry brooks he just makes stupid remarks to get notice . He is never right and you keep quoting his columns as he knows something do us a favor and don’t quote him and that would take all the oxygen out his columns

  • I mentioned the over-hype when Buch came to the team in a piece Karly did a week or so ago. He was a 3rd round pick who has demonstrated that he can play middle-six minutes. He’s not the next coming of Sergei Federov, Alexander Mogilny or even Alexie Kovalev. He’s a skilled middle-six winger.. no more, no less.

    Larry Brooks clearly has an issue with him and his sulking. I could care less how much he sulks. If it was truly detrimental to the team then I’m 100% positive that a person like Hank or Zib (who should be captain), would tell him to knock it off.

    He won’t fetch a large return by himself and I think trading a player in his 4th year with skill that can play mostly anywhere in the lineup on a cost-controlled contract would be more idiotic than Larry Brooks’ armchair GM musings. Maybe let’s focus on the guys that we know are going to hit FA this year first.

  • Regardless of my view for Buch which is more positive than most, he is the least of my concerns if I am Gorton and JD:

    Priority: Trading Skeij (this trade dictates a lot especially whether we can keep DeAngelo; possibly Kreider as well on team friendly deal)
    Second priority: Getting value for one of our 3 goalies assuming Lunqvist waives his no trade. Salary means little beyond next year so unless we are signing someone big for a 1 year contract it means little more for roster management
    Third priority: getting Smith included in a trade (eg see keeping Kreider above)
    Fourth priority: get decent value for Fast
    Fifth priority: See what your returns and cap space are (focus on 2022/23) before deciding on Kreider and Strome

    Buch is more likely to leave a hole bigger than what we can fill it with unless they pull a rabbit out of their hat in something above. I believe they would need to include 1-2 of our Defensive prospects in order to do that. Its certainly going to be a an interesting year for us on the trade front.

  • Buchnevich is cost controlled, has some real skills and is young. The Rangers as an organization are in need of wingers and centers. I think that trading Buchnevich would likely leave a hole in the team that will be difficult to fill unless they get a similar player in return. I think that keeping Kreider and Tony D should be priorities, and that trading Buchnevich a last resort.

    • Buchnevich isn’t really cost-controlled. Yeah, he is for next season, but then he is arbitration eligible.

      I don’t want to trade him. As you note, the Rangers desperately need forwards and letting go of someone they don’t need to lose seems unwise. But the upshot of the salary cap crunch coming up is, barring unexpected trades of bad contracts no one in the league wants, is that the Rangers are forced to make some moves we won’t like. Seems unlikely that the best path is a Buch trade, but who knows.

      Personally, I see a lot of parallels between Buchnevich and Fast. Both guys can play in the trenches and be effective on any one of the four lines (one sad thing about Buch is that he does not seem to take pride in his stellar fourth line play). They are actually scoring about the same this year at even strength and in general, they both have about the same scoring success – both score with good line mates, not so much with other guys (but both tend to make any line respectable).

      They are different players of course – Buch plays PP and Fast plays PK, but they bring a lot of the same thing and in a way it is curious that some of us think Buchnevich is a bargain at a salary we would not give Fast.

      • Ray—the fact that Buch is under contract for next season means that yes: he is cost-controlled. If he were not under contract for next season, he would not be cost-controlled. Is there anything that you don’t understand about that?

        • You just spent three lines repeating what I said in one line.

          Serious question Queue. Why is it that you are so determined to attack stuff I write?

          • Because what you write consistently defies reality. You defend the worst players on NYR’s roster (Staal, McKegg) while dragging legends like Lundqvist every chance you get. You ignore stats that don’t suit your arguments, and make up new ones when you see fit. That’s why.

          • How about a truce? You never respond to anything I write and I never respond to anything you write. In fact, I’d suggest you don’t even read what I write.

  • Larry Brooks has no ethics. He works for a paper not fit to use as birdcage lining. It’s not the first time that his personal hatred of a Ranger player or coach has turned into massive psychological projection for Brooks, just ask Torts or Dan Boyle or Shattenkirk or any other of his whipping boys of the past decade. For every trade Brooks is right about, there are 5 more that he’s made up in his head that don’t come to pass.

    It seems Ranger management despises him too, and I bet they use him as a sounding board and pump him full of false info.

  • You don’t trade Buchnevich until Kakko (1st line) and Kravtsov (2nd line) are just about READY (plus you need to keep Fast around) … as simple as that.

  • Back to top button