Now that the dust has settled a bit on the Pavel Buchnevich trade, which has been widely agreed upon as an awful trade, we can properly analyze a little bit. There’s more than meets the eye to this, or at least we hope. With under an hour to go before the draft starts, I have some quick thoughts on it.
1. This is an objectively bad trade. Buchnevich is a solid top line winger that the Rangers traded for a fourth liner and a 2nd round draft pick. The trade on its own does not make the Rangers better. It makes the Rangers worse. I don’t think anyone would disagree here. There is clearly a larger plan in place, and we won’t know what that is for a little while longer. However this is still bad asset management, as trading a top line skill winger for a bottom six depth guy is never a good idea.
2. If the rumors of Chris Drury shopping Buchnevich are true, that means this was the best offer he could find. It is worth noting that players under contract get more than players who are not signed, RFAs included. There is a very good argument for simply not making the trade if that is the case. We will need to see what else happens before we fully understand what Drury was up to.
3. Seeing the other trades (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Seth Jones) go down, the Buch trade doesn’t look so bad anymore. Yikes those were bad.
4. There is a strong possibility that Drury saw what re-signing Adam Fox would cost, and cleared the salary now. He’s going to get 14 dump trucks of gold bars. That, plus whatever the plan is for this season, may have forced the Buchnevich trade.
5. That said, getting him on a one year deal and letting him walk wasn’t a bad choice either, with the caveat that we don’t know what the rest of the plan is yet. He’d be a free rental for the Rangers, who are clearly going for it this year.