7/20/21 | 3:57PM: Andy Strickland tweets that it “won’t be easy to pry” Buchnevich from the Rangers, but St. Louis is among the teams with “serious interest.”
10AM: Elliotte Friedman said on the 31 Thoughts Podcast, “the thing about Buchnevich is, he’s one more year, arbitration eligible, next year he’s a UFA. Teams that I’ve heard have kind of liked him at times, St. Louis, Nashville, I’m sure there is more. I know there was a rumor out there about a Horvat for Buchnevich deal. I don’t understand how that makes any sense for the Canucks. I mentioned that to somebody in Vancouver and just the pure scorn at my suggestion was very obvious. I do think Buchnevich is going to be an interesting player.” (Sportsnet)
7/19/21 | 8 AM: Elliotte Friedman wrote at Sportsnet that Buchnevich is “a situation to watch” as he’s arbitration eligible, a UFA next summer and may be too “expensive” to keep.
He adds that “other teams like him.”
7/12/21 | 7:25 PM: Rick Carpiniello writes in The Athletic that while Buchnevich’s name is being talked about it isn’t known if teams are calling or if the Rangers are shopping him. (The Athletic)
10:53 AM: According to Frank Seravalli, Chris Drury has “engaged in conversation about the possibility of moving Buchnevich.”
Buchnevich, 26, is slated to be an RFA this summer, with arbitration rights, and is coming off a two-year deal that has a cap hit of $3.25 million.
He can be a UFA after next season.
Buchnevich had 20 goals and 28 assists in 54 games this past season.
Adam Rotter: Buchnevich was one of the Rangers’ best and most consistent forwards last season. He was someone who found his best hockey under David Quinn and looks right now like the long-term core piece the Rangers thought he might be when the rebuild started. Selecting Vitali Kravtsov in 2018 gave the idea that the two Russians could be the Rangers top-six on the right side for years to come. Then Kaapo Kakko fell into the Rangers’ lap and now signing Buchnevich long-term eats one of the top-six spots for Kravtsov and/or Kakko or potentially leads to what might happen to Chris Kreider on the left side and a mid-high salary player getting third-line minutes.
With any long-term deal, there is always the question of now vs the future. Is Buchnevich a better player at this moment than both of those guys? Yes. Is he a better bet to play consistent hockey from night to night and play the two-way style David Quinn wanted and Gerard Gallant will demand? Yes. Will those answers be the same after this coming season? After next season? That is what Chris Drury needs to figure out. In some ways it sort of comes down to whether Chris Drury thinks Vitali Kravtsov will be a better player at some point than Buchnevich, when and how does that fit into the Drury/Dolan/Sather plan? I don’t think Kaapo Kakko is untouchable, but I don’t know what kind of deal the Rangers would include him in.
That also brings up the other side of this, which is what/who the Rangers would get in return. The Rangers don’t need to move Buchnevich or Kravtsov and they won’t give either away. They can go into next season with the top three slots on each wing set, but then where are the changes coming from? Two spots on the fourth line and maybe Ryan Strome or Filip Chytil? We have to wait and see how Chris Drury approaches things in his first offseason in charge.