Pavel Buchnevich – 4 years, $23.2 million
Our first example here is one that represents a short-term deal. We don’t see the Devils accepting anything less than a four-year deal for Bratt. He will want to do something like two years again, but the Devils aren’t going to give him unrestricted free agent years for free. So, this is the deal the St. Louis Blues gave to Pavel Buchnevich right after he was traded from the New York Rangers.
There are a few obvious differences here. For one, Buchnevich was with a brand new team who proved how much they wanted him. The New York Rangers refused to pay him what he’s worth with so many other contracts on the horizon and Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin on the books for significant prices.
Buchnevich is making an average of $5.8 million for the three seasons after this one. He has a limited no-move clause that kicks in after the first season. This gives him some control of where he goes next if the Blues decide it’s time to move him. This seems like something the Devils would be willing to give Bratt. They won’t want a full no-move clause if the contract isn’t working out, but they will give him some control of his next move.
This seems unlikely since both sides seem to want a long-term deal. That’s at least what it looks like publically. However, if Bratt does refuse to go long-term, then this is what he’s looking for in a deal. Buchnevich was coming off his best season with the Rangers, but he is a little bit older than Bratt. He’s now 26 years old while Bratt is 23. It still feels like the right contract if the Devils and Bratt can’t come to a more lucrative deal.