Not even two seasons in, and the deal that has sent Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues is looking like an unmitigated disaster for the New York Rangers.
In June 2021, the original six franchise traded the talented Russian winger for a second-round pick and bottom-sixer Sammy Blais.
The deal was always head-scratching from the Rangers’ point of view from day one.
But it’s obvious that general manager Chris Drury was overly desperate for some cap space and wanted to give some more ice time to young highly-touted wingers in Kaapo Kakko and 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafrenière.
The latter of the two made sense – but the return was still laughably bad.
But hopefully, the Rangers put that cap space to good use, right?
Well – not exactly.
The Rangers have Blais signed to a one-year $1.5 million contract and wound up trading and signing Barclay Goodrow to a six-year $21.85 million deal.
That has cost the Rangers roughly $5.1 million against the cap versus Buchnevich’s $5.8 million this year.
Buchenvich since the trade has recorded 112 points in 107 games, while Blais and Goodrow have combined for 61 points.
Blais and Goodrow have played 50 games and 122 games respectively for the Rangers.
So it’s been highway robbery for the Blues, which didn’t even have to surrender a first-round pick for a star player.
It has to be in the conversation for one of the most lopsided trades in the past decade.
One that comes to mind is when the Edmonton Oilers under the leadership of Peter Chiarelli traded star winger Taylor Hall straight up for Adam Larsson, who was a second-pairing defenseman at the time.
While both players are no longer with those teams, Hall went on to win the MVP award in 2018 with the Devils.
While the Blues completed highway robbery for Buchnevich, the Rangers did complete a fleecing of their own.
In 2016, the Rangers acquired Mika ZIbanejad in exchange for Derick Brassard, who was selected as a first-time All-Star in 2022.
Brassard has been mostly a bottom-six player and has 11 points in 32 games with the Ottawa Senators this year.
Zibanejad has been a staple for the Rangers its first line center, recording 45 points in 43 games this year.
But still, the Buchnevich trade is hard to fathom today for the Rangers.
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