Brooks: McDonagh Was A Throw-In

November 8, 2011, by

That title is a bit surprising, eh? Larry Brooks of the NY Post has the scoop that now ex-GM of the Montreal Canadiens Bob Gainey wasn’t all that impressed with Ryan McDonagh when they went to scout him in Wisconsin after drafting him 12th overall in the 2007 draft. According to Brooks, the Canadiens expected more:

The Canadiens apparently expected McDonagh to become a dominant offensive  player when they drafted him and, for whatever reason, were not satisfied with  his development as a two-way defenseman with offensive skills that might have  been dormant.

Well that’s just awful, awful talent analysis. The Canadiens dropped the ball, and it appears they were all too happy to give up McDonagh to get their hands on Scott Gomez. As we all know, that trade didn’t quite work out the way the Canadiens thought it would.

Gomez had a normal year, by his career average standards, the first year after the trade, but has quickly fallen out of favor in Montreal, especially with the fans. He had the worst season of his career last year, and has just one assist in six games this season.

Meanwhile, McDonagh worked his way from midseason callup last year to top pairing defenseman this season, and a player than can eat 27 minutes on the blue line without even flinching. Throw in the cap room for Marian Gaborik, and the trade of Chris Higgins (and Ales Kotalik) for Brandon Prust (and some guy with a moustache), and this trade is one that shaped the Rangers into what we see today.

What do the players think of this, well Brandon Dubinsky said it best to Brooks:

“What were they thinking?”

There are 29 clubs wondering this…including the Rangers.


  1. Walt says:

    Bob Gainey I believe at the time of the trade lost a daughter, and probably wasn’t thinking very clearly! This is not meant to be funny.

    Anyone looking at how well McD plays defense alone, forget the offensive part of the game, should have his head examined for making that trade. I believe he will be a shut down defensman like Brooks Orkip with the Pens in a year or two. He is a quick study, and lacks only an edge, that may come along as he gets a little older! Let’s not forget that the kid only played some 40 games last season, and almost could be qualifed for rookie of the year.

    Scott Gomez was a flake, played well with the Devils as a second line center, but can’t carry a team like a quility first line guy. Going to the Habs exposed him as no other location could have, with their media coverage, and he buckeled under the pressure. The dude is not worth 1/3rd the salarie he is paid, and now I believe is riding the pine, haven’t seen him all season!

    In closing I personally want to thank Bob Gainey for his wonderful analyical skills, and when we want to rid ourselves of any additional trash, please put in a good work on our behalf with the Montreal front office!!!!!

    • The Suit says:

      The Gomez trade was a systematic breakdown of the entire Canadiens organization. Gainey obviously had the responsibility being GM, but there are many people who had their finger prints all over that move.

      Not that it’s relevant, but Gainey’s daughter passed in ’06, three years prior to that trade. But again, we shouldn’t be bringing that sort of stuff up here. Let’s keep the convo about hockey.

      • Walt says:

        There was no harm intended on my part, I thought that the time frame was about the same as the trade.

        That turned out to be a major blunder on the organization as a whole, and to be candid, it couldn’t happen to a better group, other than the Filthadelphia group.

    • Dave says:

      GMs follow the advice of scouts. Gainey didn’t do the scouting himself. So if anything, blame the scouts. I’m sure Gainey thought he was getting a steal, considering he was told McDonagh wasn’t going to amount to much.

  2. Pavel says:

    So let me get this straight. The Canadiens didn’t like the fact that McDonagh was learning to play defense first? Did they really look at him and say “Oh no! He’s learning how to be a great all-around defenseman? That’s not right. We want a complete liability on defense!”? If so, this is the worst trade in Habs history. Good thing I’m a Ranger fan.

    • Dave says:

      I think it’s the fact that they felt he would be one dimensional, and not the all around player he is today.

  3. bob says:

    The suprising part of the trade was that the Rangers should have thrown something in to sweeten the pot with Gomez’s abysmal contract.I personally could not stand Gomez.He has amazing speed,yet it only showed once a month.He was the lazier than other fat cat Rangers.Higgins tried like hell,couldn’t hit the net,but tried.I probably would have traded for Higgins straight up just to be rid of Gomez and his contract.

  4. Mikeyyyy says:

    Wasnt the trade more for Higgins and we got mcd and vtank.

  5. jay h says:

    There are probably 30 clubs wondering it now Dave.