Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pavel Buchnevich Jersey Card

The New York Rangers dealt with one of their more pressing issues by signing RFA Pavel Buchnevich to a two-year, $6.5M deal worth $3.25M per season on the salary cap, which amounts to more than triple his salary from the previous three seasons.

While his points-per-game average has improved in each of his first three seasons (from 0.49 to 0.58 to 0.59), his possession and shot differential stats have fallen quite a bit (50.1 CF to 48.6 to 47.4), showing that previous head coach Alain Vigneault had sheltered him at first and that perhaps current Blueshirts bench boss David Quinn can live with a few defensive lapses on his part if he can also produce at the other end of the rink.

While it's been a surprisingly reasonable summer for RFA contracts, the Rangers still currently sit at $4M above the cap with only 20 of 23 players currently on the roster after the signings of Buchnevich, Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin.

Common wisdom is they'll be shopping around forwards like Chris Kreider or perhaps even Buchnevich himself, but the smarter deal would be to find a way to rid themselves of an overpaid defenseman with some sort of no-movement/no-trade clause (like, say Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith) ahead of the Seattle expansion draft, or else they won't be able to protect the right players.

At age 24, we should get to see Buchnevich evolve into a flashy, consistent top-six forward who produces some 50 points per year for the two years of his bridge deal, then in the 60-70-point range on his next contract.

In the meantime, here's a jersey card from #89, card #RS-PB from Upper Deck's 2016-17 SP Game-Used Edition set and Rookie Sweaters sub-set:
It shows him wearing the Rangers' classic blue (now-home) uniform with a matching jersey swatch from a rookie photo shoot, and is numbered #499/499. I got it in a trade a couple of years ago.

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