Trade deadline SZN is also Cliche SZN in every major sport, especially so in hockey, where beautiful cliches instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. With the deadline just 12 days away in the National Pucks League, you're going to hear a lot of comments like "this is a business," and "some tough decisions have to be made," and "wherever I end up, I just gotta get more pucks in deep" from players on the block.
You might not hear some of that stuff from New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich, who, now in his fourth season in the NHL, has shown the potential to be a lethal scorer while also disappearing for long stretches. At 24 years old, that makes him a prime trade candidate, a guy who still has "high upside." As of February 11th, TSN ranked him 12th out of 40 players on its "Trade Bait List." No. 1 is teammate and linemate Chris Kreider.
Apparently, Buch is fully aware of his place on the Trade Bait List, even referring to it following the Rangers' 4-1 win on the road against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. After picking up two assists, including one that Kreider scored on, Buchnevich could be heard saying "numbah 12" in his Russian accent, then pointing to Kreider behind him and saying "numbah 1" as they made their way to the locker room. According to The Athletic's Ryan Mead, Kreider can also be heard telling Buchnevich to be quiet in Russian. Check out the hilarious clip:
It's not often you'll see a player so bluntly point out that he could absolutely be traded, but Buch DGAF. As much as some players don't want to be moved, it must be cool to see your value spike like Buchnevich's has over the last month. Between December 22 and January 19 (13 games), Buchnevich had a whopping total of four points (1 goal, 3 assists). In eight games since he's doubled that number, scoring four goals and four assists. Whether or not he gets traded remains to be seen, but Rangers fans like myself hope he continues to ride this TSN Trade Bait List high as long as they still have him.