What is going on with Pavel Buchnevich and Vlad Namestnikov?

Following the Rangers acquisition of Jacob Trouba in June, Darren Dreger tweeted that the Rangers “potentially” had forwards like Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey, Vlad Namestnikov and Pavel Buchnevich “in play.”

The Rangers moved Vesey on July 1 to Buffalo for a 2021 third-round pick while Kreider remains with the Rangers and is heading into the final-year of his contract.

Buchnevich is an RFA and his arbitration hearing is set for 7/29.





Namestnikov is slated to be a UFA following next season and has a cap hit of $4 million.

Larry Brooks wrote on June 20th that Buchnevich and Namestnikov, in the context of the Rangers needing to clear cap space, were “available” and listed them as “endangered species” on June 22.

Brooks wrote on July 2 that for the Rangers to extend Chris Kreider they would need to move Buchnevich and his potential two-year deal at between $3.2 million and $3.5 million.

Brett Cyrgalis wrote in the NY Post on June 18 that Buchnevich and Namestnikov, along with Vesey, have been “batted around” in trade rumors.

Cyrgalis wrote on Monday that in addition to figuring out what to do with Kreider, “also on the trade block would be” Buchnevich and Namestnikov.

Writers in Edmonton have wondered if Buchnevich would be a fit with the Oilers. (Edmonton Journal)

Adam Rotter: Just about every team in the league is running into the same issue of being unable to sign players until they move cash out. With just about everyone in that same position it’s hard to find teams that are able to take on money or even want to. The trade market is being held up by the RFAs that still need to be signed and no one is willing to sacrifice cap space or make secondary moves until those players are signed.

With Namestnikov the Rangers may have to entertain a buyout of the final-year of his contract. The cost for that would be $1.3 million per season this year and next but the $2.6 million saved for this year may be enough to get Tony DeAngelo or Brenden Lemieux signed. That isn’t the ideal route but it’s a more palatable buyout than either Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith would be. A trade where the Rangers eat half of his salary and get a conditional pick based upon performance or him staying where he is traded might be the most beneficial deal short and long-term.

I think that most of the chatter around Buchnevich is centered around teams calling on him and asking rather than the Rangers offering him up. It’s not impossible that they trade him but at 24-years old the Rangers would surely look for some higher end picks or prospects for him. I think it’s more likely that Buchnevich stays on a bridge-deal but we know that his situation, along with Jacob Trouba’s, will be settled within the next-two weeks because of arbitration.