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NHL Rumours: Blues Forward Emerges As Trade Chip

Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! The Stanley Cup Final is entering Game 6 and the hockey world wonders if a historic comeback is in the making. For the 30 other teams, the off-season is in full swing and the buzz is growing larger. Today’s rumours center around a St. Louis Blues forward being used as a trade chip.

NHL Rumours

Rumour: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Servalli has reported that forward Pavel Buchnevich could be traded ahead or at the NHL Entry Draft.

Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong shopped Buchnevich during last season’s trade deadline, but found no buyers. Armstrong reportedly wanted three first-round equivalents in exchange for the forward.

Buchnevich Has Silently Become A Scorer

The Blues traded for Buchnevich in June 2021. A few days later, the Blues signed Buchnevich to a 4-year extension, signaling their belief in what he could do for the team.

Buchnevich has produced at a rate that the Blues themselves may not have even expected. In 216 games with the Blues, Buchnevich has recorded 206 points. In the span of three seasons, Buchnevich has quietly become a point-per-game player.

However, Buchnevich’s production is no longer a quiet thing.

Can The Blues Afford Buchnevich?

It would be to the Blues advantage to re-sign Buchnevich. Signing him would establish a core for the Blues as they look to return to being a Stanley Cup contender.

At the same time, Buchnevich, a free agent after this coming season, will be due for a significant raise. He is expected to make in the ballpark of $8 million. The Blues could afford this, provided they move some bigger contracts to free up cap space.

The Blues Like Buchnevich, But Will It Work Out?

As the days pass, Buchnevich’s value gets smaller. The reason Armstrong was asking for three first-round equivalents last season was because a buyer would get two playoff runs and a full season with Buchnevich before he becomes a free agent. Currently, a team would get a full season and one playoff run if a trade happened this summer. If the Blues waited until the trade deadline this coming season to trade him, the value would be similar to what they got when they traded Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly two seasons ago. They got a nice return for both, but a trade now would possibly bring a larger return.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

The Blues like Buchnevich. The fans like Buchnevich. Parting with him would not be easy.

In an ideal situation, Armstrong will find a way to re-sign Buchnevich. However, it is certainly understandable if Armstrong is using Bucnevich as a trade chip.

Main Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


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