The St. Louis Blues didn't acquire the rights to forward Pavel Buchnevich just to allow him to leave this summer.
Per the NHL's website, Buchnevich and the Blues agreed to a four-year, $23.2 million contract that carries an average annual value of $5.8 million. St. Louis landed the 26-year-old from the New York Rangers this past Friday in exchange for forward Sammy Blais and a 2022 second-round draft selection, but Buchnevich could've become a restricted free agent Wednesday.
That's no longer a concern.
The Rangers drafted Buchnevich in 2013, and he only played with New York across his first 301 career NHL regular-season games. In 2020-21, he recorded 20 goals and 28 assists for a career-best 48 points in 54 contests.
"I'm excited to have Pavel join our group," St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong explained. "... He's got good size at 6-3. He is a left shot, can play the right side. He's scored in the league recently. He's 26 years old. ... A very good penalty killer too, a very underrated penalty killer. So he's going to touch all aspects of our game and he's at a good age as we continue to retool this roster, and I think he's a good piece for us."
According to The Athletic, the Blues still have roughly $13 million in salary-cap space following Tuesday's development.