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Is a Pavel Buchnevich Trade to the Oilers a Real Possibility?

The Edmonton Oilers would love to add a player like Pavel Buchnevich at the trade deadline, but is he a real possibility?

As the NHL trade deadline approaches, the Edmonton Oilers are reportedly showing keen interest in acquiring Pavel Buchnevich from the St. Louis Blues. Despite the Blues not actively shopping the Russian winger, they are open to listening to offers, and the Oilers seem to be closely tracking Buchnevich’s impressive performances. But, with Friday’s deadline just days away, is Buchnevich a realistic option?

In recent games between the Blues and Oilers, Buchnevich showcased his skill set with two goals and an assist, contributing to his impressive overall record of 11 goals and four assists in the past 15 games. The 28-year-old winger has one year remaining on his contract, making him an attractive asset for Stanley Cup contenders looking for a player with playoff experience. While Buchnevich’s $5.8 million cap hit may pose a challenge for certain teams (like the Oilers) his on-ice performance would make the investment worthwhile. If he came in at a retained salary rate, he could be one of the gets of this season’s deadline.

Currently on pace for a remarkable 33-goal, 66-point season, Buchnevich’s productivity justifies the financial commitment associated with his contract.

Why Would the Blues Want to Move Buchnevich?

St. Louis holds a strong bargaining position due to the extended duration of Buchnevich’s contract, reaching the end of the next season. The Blues are poised to demand a substantial return for his services, akin to the package that Calgary secured from Vancouver in the Elias Lindholm trade – involving a first-round pick, two prospects, and winger Andrei Kuzmenko. If they get what they’re seeking, a trade is possible. Otherwise, don’t expect him to be moved.

Related: 3 Takeaways from Oilers Dominant 6-1 Win Over Penguins

Meanwhile, the Oilers, who would prefer to move their top assets for a player with term versus a rental. Buchnevich may be viewed as a similar trade to last season’s deal to add Mattias Ekholm. Both had term and both would be part of next season’s playoff push.

Pavel Buchnevich Oilers trade deadline

The Blues are currently seven points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. With 22 games to play in the season, the postseason is looking more and more out of reach. The decision to trade Buchnevich wouldn’t be made lightly. That said, a compelling offer could convince them to move on considering they are probably already thinking about their future and how he fits into it. A reluctance to meet his future contract demands, or the winger’s desire to explore free agency after the upcoming season are factors.

Buchnevich Would Be a Great Fit for the Oilers

The Oilers, looking to bolster their lineup for a deep playoff run, might need to make significant concessions to secure Buchnevich. The Blues are reportedly eyeing Edmonton’s first-round pick in 2024 and more, possibly equivalent to two first-round picks. Edmonton has limited deadline cap space and another move would likely have to come first, including waiving a veteran winger or demoting a player to the AHL to be cap-compliant.

While management in Edmonton may be reluctant to part with promising players like Philip Broberg or Dylan Holloway, the allure of Buchnevich potentially propelling them to Stanley Cup contention may force them to consider such offers. If Edmonton doesn’t put together a strong package, Blues’ general manager, Doug Armstrong has no reason to pull the trigger. He doesn’t have to make a deal now. The Blues could wait until the offseason when more clubs could express interest.

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