The Blues announced yesterday that they had extended a qualifying offer to pending restricted free agent Pavel Buchnevich. The left winger wasn’t a pending FA for very long - today, in a quick turnaround, the Blues have announced that they have signed their newest acquisition to a four year contract extension.
The deal, per CapFriendly, comes with a $5.8 million cap hit per season. The former third round (2013) pick of the Rangers has had a successful career in New York. In 301 regular season games, he’s scored 79 goals and 116 assists; 49 of those points have been with the extra man. Buchnevich is a defensively aware forward that was a credit to the Rangers’ top-ten penalty kill.
The Blues’ PK finished last season with the 25th ranked PK overall (77.8% effectiveness) versus the Rangers’ 82.3% kill.
With rumors swirling regarding Jaden Schwartz’s pending deal with the Seattle Kraken (The Athletic, subscription required), the Blues will need to shore up their left side even more than they already needed to. Klim Kostin will be given his chance, finally, but if Mike Hoffman decides to sign elsewhere the team is going to have to look toward the free agent market for some strength if they choose not to slot Brayden Schenn over from center. The potential loss of Hoffman also dings the Blues’ power play, which was resurgent down the stretch thanks to his play.