June 15, 2024

Pavel Buchnevich Developing Into a Captivating Blues Trade Asset

Craig Berube talks about St. Louis Blues win in Minnesota | ksdk.com

Pavel Buchnevich and the St. Louis Blues may be headed for an untimely divorce, and it might happen sooner than anticipated. The Blues may have several chances to take advantage of a fantastic chance to continue their retooling efforts and invest in the future as the March 8 trade deadline draws near. The return for the explosive forward may be excellent, despite the fact that it could not be a popular view among the supporters and would hurt them greatly. A seasoned power forward like Buchnevich doesn’t come up for grabs on the trade or free agency market too frequently. Since joining the Blues on July 23, 2021, he has maintained a consistent two-way game while putting up about a point per game. His dominance on the top line with Robert Thomas has shown him to be a reliable attacking danger every week for the club going forward. In his three years with the team, he has averaged slightly over 19 minutes of ice time per game and a shooting percentage of roughly 16%.
All of this means that if the Blues decide to trade the forward, he will soon rise to the top of the market as a trade deadline asset. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ explosive winger Jake Guentzel is set to miss the next four weeks due to an upper-body ailment. This news gives the Blues some further leverage over other teams looking to add a winger to their squad. The stock of Russian forwards is at an all-time high, and now may be the right moment to strike gold. The Blues have been playing well lately; after defeating the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 on Thursday night, they went 8-4-1 in January and currently have a 3-1 record in February. His skill on both ends of the rink has contributed to his team’s success as they have been nominated for the Selke Trophy frequently. It will take time for any of the prospects currently in the pipeline to rise to a top-line role, let alone a player that performs at such a high rate, and the club does not currently have anyone ready to take the reins and play at the level that Buchnevich has been playing over the past three seasons.
Even though it would be wonderful and touching if the Blues were able to sign Buchnevich to a long-term deal again, it is seeming less and less probable that they will be able to give Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas $16.25 million a season, plus an additional $8 million every year for seven years. It serves as a warning to teams hoping to assemble a competitive, well-balanced roster in an effort to win another Stanley Cup, as teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning have chosen to go in this direction and load up on top-heavy, offensive lineups. The salary cap shuffle is more difficult to manage when you consider that the Blues’ finances will be strangled for the next few years by many long-term contracts and no-trade clauses. After the 2024–25 season, the complete no-trade clauses of veteran defensemen Torey Krug, Nick Leddy, and Justin Faulk will change to modified no-trade clauses. This generates a thought-provoking solution for pay relocation. If the Blues choose to hold onto Buchnevich in an effort to reallocate money, it would take a willing party to take on the payroll and a risk. It’s not impossible, but it’s never a given.

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