Pavel Buchnevich and Jacob Trouba have filed for salary arbitration, and both will have the opportunity to plead their case before a third-party arbiter; if things actually get that far.
Arbitration-eligible RFAs can file for arbitration today. NHL will announce the names of players who have filed at 5 p.m. Pavel Buchnevich has filed. He had a career high 21 goals in 2018-19, in 64 games. This means the Rangers will be able to open a second buyout window.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) July 5, 2019
Jacob Trouba also filed for salary arbitration. Trouba, 25, played under a one-year, $5.5 million deal last season in Winnipeg and scored eight goals and 42 assists (50 points).— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) July 5, 2019
This isn’t a terrible thing for the Rangers, as they will now have the availability to utilize the second buyout window; something they may need to do if they are unable to free up cap room via trade.
As for Buchnevich, I wouldn’t be surprised if he reaches a deal with the Rangers before arbitration. It is in his best interest to take a bridge deal, as he ended the season on a high note and will be in position to be more productive this season.
My guess is he will ask for something around $3.5 million, the Rangers counter with $2.5 million, and both sides eventually meet in the middle at $3 million. This figure would be similar to the $2,475,000 got per year on a two-year bridge coming off his ELC based on cap percentage.
Buchnevich has posted a line of 43-58-101 in 179 games (0.56 P/GP), and has averaged 14:40 a game. Kreider’s ELC saw him post a line of 40-46-86 in 169 games (0.50 P/GP), and he averaged 14:57 a game. Overall I don’t foresee the two sides having an issue, and he ultimately was the most logical player of the three to file.
Trouba has gone through the process before, but I wouldn’t expect it to happen again since the Rangers have been having conversations with his agent. It has been reported than he’s likely to sign a seven-year deal in the ballpark of $7.5 to $8 million.
The Rangers haven’t reached an actual hearing since 2009, and that’s when Nikolai Zherdev asked for $3.9 million a year. The arbiter ruled in his favor, but the team walked away after previously offering him $3.25 million. It was an odd situation considering Zherdev was fresh off a 23-goal, and 58-point campaign.
Vinni Lettieri is also eligible for arbitration, but he isn’t in much of a position to gain anything from the process — given his limited NHL experience — and he’ll likely get something within the range of $1,000,000 that can be buried in Hartford.
The full list of players filing will be released after the 5:00 p.m. deadline today, and there’s a chance Lettieri files as well. But as noted above; don’t expect the Rangers to sit for a hearing.
*Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect news that Jacob Trouba also filed for arbitration.