Irresponsible Rumormongering

The unthinkable: Could the Rangers dangle Ryan McDonagh?

ryan mcdonagh
Photo: Winslow Townson/AP

It’s amazing what one summer can do. Last summer, the Rangers transformed their forwards into one of the most potent offenses in the league. This summer, they transformed their blue line from one of the worst in the league to perhaps one of the best top-four in the league. It’s amazing what Jeff Gorton has done.

Ryan McDonagh has been the rock on the Rangers blue line since he joined the team. He’s not quite elite, but he is in the tier right below elite. After dragging around an anchor for a few seasons, he finally has a chance to be free with Kevin Shattenkirk on his right side. Ryan McDonagh is a free elf.

But for how long?

Before you grab your torches and your pitchforks and come after me like the villagers did Shrek, hear me out. I’m not saying the RangersĀ will trade him. I’m just saying his name has been dangled the past two summers. Combine that with a major shakeup in the Rangers’ leadership this year (Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan are both gone, with Rick Nash and Marc Staal likely headed out soon too), and you have the potential to start fresh with a new leadership core.

Make no mistake, the Rangers did quietly listen on McDonagh last summer. It is not a coincidence that we’ve heard rumblings. McDonagh will be 30 when his contract expires after the 2018-2019 season, and will be due a massive raise on his $4.7 million salary. Think they would want to potentially lose him for nothing?

Brady Skjei is coming into his own. Should he match what he did last season, this time against tougher competition, then could he be the heir apparent to the 1LD spot? We honestly don’t know yet.

Add Neal Pionk, Alexei Bereglazov, and Sean Day to the mix, and you make an already crowded blue line even more crowded. Even with Staal and Nick Holden heading towards futures elsewhere, it doesn’t open enough spots on the roster.

I highly doubt the Rangers seriously explore this route unless they are bowled over by an offer. Plus, it’s not like the other guys are due massive raises yet. There’s plenty of cap space to manage the raises due across the board next year, and these guys are all on ELCs. That said, there could be a scenario in which the Rangers look to move their captain. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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  • Agree with you Dave. It just make sense. To many in the hockey world wind up being caught in the Stockholm Syndrome. It happened on the Island with Bill Torrey, Philadelphia with Bobby Clark, NJD with Lou, NYR with Emile and not to mention teams with money problems that shed players for payroll reasons. All the men I mentioned and didn’t were super guys who did great jobs, but lost sight of the goal, The Cup. Instead they stayed with guys that either got them there or almost got them there. The great Sam Pollack, of the Canadiens, once said (forgive me if not 100% accurate) “I moved him 1 year before his decline”. He generally got the better of the deal and also in an age before the cap. But his response hit a chord. Maybe the NYR get that 1C that everyone is clamoring for….eh? And win a Cup (and lord forgive maybe two).

  • Dave,
    I have to admit, at first, I reached for the torch and pitchfork, but when thinking about it, it would make some sense if we got something really good in return. How about a first rounder and a solid forward? Sean Day looks like he may be a beast in a year or two, Ryan who?.

  • I wouldn’t mind letting him go if the return is right. He’s not quite elite but very good two way Dman. Brady hit those same point totals with less ice time.

    Is it me or do I see the C as the new kiss of death.

    • They need to pick the right ones, like Zuc. A great lead by example kind of guy and not afraid to speak up.

  • Everyone, except probably Hank, is subject to possible trades if the right deals come along and the team feels that it can fill the position being vacated. However, Skjei and McD are not quite the same players, and the team would miss the minutes he logs. That makes him difficult to part with even though he is nearing 30 and will be a lot more costly soon, which also will possibly diminish his trade value if they hang into him too long. Not an easy decision for the club.

  • I have thought about this. For the simple reason being … How wise is it to give a 30 year old a massive raise?

    • Exactly, and as far as him getting an outstanding haul in a trade…. that ship has sailed.

      • But the thought of getting some teams first round draft picks for a few years running is not such a bad thought.

  • I Love McD but this is a business and loyalty these days is out the window. The same way he will do what’s best for him, the Ranger management needs to do what’s best for the team. If your telling me we get a top center for him, or blown away with an offer then do it. I would hate to see it but another cup is more important the McD is!

  • Personally, I couldn’t be any less interested in paying Mcdonagh 7.5+ for an absurdly long time. It’s not like he will be 25 when he’s due that money…he will be 30. I guarantee he slows down sooner than later. I personally want to see the “leadership” group completely change. Yes, Mcdonagh is a great player and gives his all on the ice but I have never once seen him stick up for a teammate. Trade Mcdonagh next off season for a 1C, sounds perfect to me. Then give me #CaptainLias

  • Jeez, nice August click bait Dave.

    His contract is a very manageable number right now and for two full seasons.

    No need to worry about moving him until next summer At the EARLIEST.

    • There is an argument to be made that if you want to get quality in return for him in a trade that you do it before his is close to commanding that big raise.

      Not saying I’d do it, but there is logic behind it.

    • He’s gonna need half a season to get the stink of Girardi off him, but is Shattenkirk the right partner to let his offense loose? Is he actually a shut down defender?

      Camp is gonna be interesting.

  • Whenever the question of whether “so-and-so should be traded” comes up, my answer is always: for who? Everybody can and should be traded FOR THE RIGHT RETURN. Captain Mac for an elite center? Maybe, depending on who the center is. For an elite center and a first round draft pick? Now you’re talking. For an average 1C and that draft pick? Maybe, depending on how high that pick is likely to be, and how deep is the draft. Never say never, and never sell low or buy high.

  • Listening to offers is quite different from trying to trade a player.

    That said, no player is immune to being traded. The right move is the right move. But before we even begin forecasting such a thing, let’s first see what MacTruck, our captain, does when he’s paired with a mobile and offensively competent defenseman, ala Shatty or Skjei. I think he’ll have a career year.

  • Fascinating topic!

    I largely agree with Dave on this, and the prevailing sentiment I’m reading here. I absolutely would consider trading McDonagh IF the return was tremendous.

    I think actually joe from Newburgh said it best….for who?

    A few more thoughts on this. We are automatically assuming that McDonagh and Shattenkirk will have great chemistry. Hopefully they will. But what if they have horrible chemistry? We’re committed to Shattenkirk, likely all in with Skjei and Smith. The Rangers have committed to some (presumably) talented young defenemen. McDonagh’s deal comes up after next season, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he pulls a Parise and wants to finish his career in Minnesota.

    Add it all up, and yes, absolutely, for the right deal, the Rangers should seriously consider dealing him.

      • I’m awful at speculating on trade possibilities. I have no specific suggestion. I’m just always of the mind that no player other than a superstar should be considered untouchable. IF the right deal is out there, then it should be considered.

  • It’s amazing how quickly everyone forgets just how bad the Rangers D was last year. The minutes & holes McD was forced to fill. Just because the Rangers now on paper look like they have a solid D doesn’t actually mean a thing. Just remember back to a few years ago right after the finals. Where on paper with Girardi & Stall in there prime the Rangers were said to have the best D in the league. Where allowing Stralman to leave wasn’t supposed to be a bad thing. We all know now that all those moves made at that time were a huge mistake. Ever since then McDonough has been the plug for the Rangers D. With them using him to fill all the holes in a sinking ship of short sightedness.
    Now that they finally have a few players who on paper look like the perfect fit you want to ship him off before the first puck is even dropped. Brady Skjei may look like bonafide star. But so did Michael Del Sotto after his first year. We have no clue what Skjei, Shatt or Smith are really going to do for us. But we know who McDonough is. Just ask Montreal if they wish they could have a do over with his trade. Every team in the league would be laughing all the way to the bank if the Rangers were stupid enough to trade him away to them.
    I want to remind you of one name. Serget Zubov. The same talk was being said about him right after the cup. They better get something for him before he’s past him prime & shitty. Do you remember how that worked out for us? Yes he was no Brian Leetch. But the Rangers D was never the same without him. As the Rangers D got progressively worse without him he was still a great Defensemen & winning cups.
    Short sightedness is what I hate most about most Rangers fans.

    • Cal-

      While you make a somewhat valid argument, you are completely missing the broader point. No one is suggesting that you just “ship off” McDonagh, or anyone else for that matter. And the Zubov argument that you make does not apply to today at all, since back then there was no salary cap to be concerned about. That trade was a pure hockey trade, plain and simple, where the Rangers decided to trade away a skill player for the “toughness” so many out here seem to crave (Ulfie). It was a terrible trade that cost us dearly. In fact, Neil Smith recently said it was the biggest mistake of his Rangers tenure as GM.

      McDonagh is on a club friendly deal for two more seasons. He will be 30 when he becomes a UFA. I suspect he will want a substantial raise with significant term to remain a Ranger. Will the Rangers have the cap space to pay him? Will he be worth re-signing? Should the Rangers just let hm walk for nothing?

      It is more than reasonable to consider whether McDonagh could yield a substantial return and if so, what would that be? To me, let’s see how the first half of the season goes. Maybe the young guys on defense they have brought in show they are ready. Maybe Skjei takes another major step forward. Then on top of that, let’s see how the Rangers are doing as a team and whether they are buyers or sellers at the deadline.

      Bottom line–it’s not a good idea to trade him. Nor is it a bad idea. It’s simply an idea, and one worth considering depending on the return.

    • Cal,
      I see your point and it is a very valid one! Great point how we traded/didnt resign zubov and strallman and it cost us 20 combined years of solid/ exceptional defensive hockey players.
      That being said I did propose trading him last year for PK Subban, weeks before subban was actually traded , which I didnt think would ever happen.
      But for the reasons you mentioned and the fact that IMHO I think Miller will more than make up for the loss of stepan, I would not move him.
      Now if there was another conner mcdavid coming out of juniors next year and the worst team ? in the league is willing to part with the pick………

  • You know, it’s good with these young defencemen no doubt. But, in reality, none are impressive enough to say lets wack the Mac, yet. Of course, if it becomes apparent there is that NHL level of quality, we sure could use a first line center that is a true first liner, and isn’t at the end of his contract.

  • Everyone is for sale. McD is not above the right deal.

    It’s rare air up where his value is at the moment, but time waits for no team.

    Dave must have had a scary dream or something, tossing out such thoughts… just prior to camp…

  • First of all, and let’s make this clear, EVERYONE is “mentioned” for trades. And yes, even the King. The question is, who are mentioned SERIOUSLY for trade.

    Let’s look at the following:

    1) McD, even with Girardi dragging McD’s ass down, is a top 15 D man.
    2) The NHL teams STARVE for major D help so they keep it when they have it.
    3) The loss of that anchor (G) and the addition of a D man that can actually play and paired with McD probably makes McD a top 10 NHL D man, IMO.
    4) You never, ever trade a franchise type player because there is no way that you get proper trade value back. See Ovi.
    5) McD is still on one of the best team friendly contracts in the league.
    6) If McD plays the way most think he can play with Shatty on his right side then the Rangers will be happy to pay him when the time comes.
    7) The next lockout is coming and guaranteed there will be another “loop hole” to allow NHL teams to shed bad contracts.
    8) I would sign him to an extension next year before his current contract is up, if he performs like most of us think he will and lock him up.

    No way he gets traded. The King and McD are the most valuable Rangers on the team and in either case the Rangers would not get fair trade value back. Franchise players, in general, do not get traded. Subban for Weber is a rarity (and the exception) where 2 franchise players were traded for each other.

    I have always said that all Rangers are available for trade, EXCEPT the King and McD.

  • Ryan Getzlaf (probably play till he is 40) and a very high draft for McD. and the Rangers win the cup!

  • Ryan Getzlaf (probably play till he is 40) and a very high draft for McD. and the Rangers win the cup, period!

    • The Ducks already have one of the better D corps in the league, why would they do this deal?

      Manson used to be one of the best kept secrets in the league, not to mention Lindholm who is now a top 10ish D man.

      • Stranger things have happened, especially if they make other trades Their defense would be that much better with more offence in McD..
        If anything else, I like to dream. Who ever thought Subban would be traded for Weber?

        • nah, if the Ducks dd that then they totally sabotage their offense. Getzlaf is a point per game player.

          • Richter, I get your point, but from what I understand, the Ducks are pretty maxed out with cap issues. What does he make a year and are they willing to save? How long is he signed for? Remember, Messier and Gretzky got traded and other greats. We need an elite talent to move us over into becoming a great, not just a good, team. It would be really nice to have him either way, even though most unlikely. Thanks for your input, my friend..

          • Craig, I didn’t say that he wouldn’t want him, I just don’t think that the Ducks want more D men in exchange for offense.

  • Thumbs up despite IMO an error as to impact of salary repurposing to extend the younger core at sacrifice of more senior vets.

    While Zib joins Krieder as under immediate + cap control, NOW is the time to max use of salary cap.
    Max term deals to minimize per yr avg for
    Skjei – max 8 yrs at 5.5-5.75 ish
    JT Miller – 6-7 yrs similar
    Hayes – 6 yrs similar
    Vesey prefer not to do now, but waiting gives him leverage; so also a 4-5 yr deal
    Grabner may not be a long term deal, but another 20 something goal season, and he will command a hefty raise.

    Nash’s 7.8 is gone by next yr and Hank’s 8 is reduced to backup for a lot less if/when he extends, assuming he physically can still cut it

    But prior to that, more $ trimming needs to be done esp for as long as Staal is on the roster. Prior to buyout next year, I can see a $ deal esp w/a cap troubled team like Detroit. However, in short term that would add cap to NYR.

    Thus, we must also look at McD and Zuc.
    We might luck out and after 2 yrs Hank’s deal expiring could allow both these guys to return if they go super club friendly deal. But regardless of what will be, we need to max return on their value by dealing now, especially since we previously screwed the pooch w/deals like Clowe, EStaal etc.

  • I totally understand that we are in a cap era now. With the cap teams are forced to make judgement calls to stay competitive in the league. Do I wish a number one center would just fall into our laps without having to rob Paul to pay Peter. Of course I do.
    I only brought up Zubov as an example of another time were it was believed that we had a glaring need. Where the team felt we had a gluttony of talent of one type. But what we really needed was a talent of a different type. We all know how that turned out.
    All those skilled defensemen we thought we had didn’t pan out. Don’t get me wrong Ulf was a great player but he was no longer what he used to be when he came to the Rangers. Meanwhile Zubov was still everything he always was & more. Ulf was Girardi before there was a Girardi.
    All I’m trying to say is we have no clue what any of these guys are going to be for us. SkjeI, Smith, DeAngelo are not proven commodities yet.
    There’s many more top centers in this league then there are top Defensemen. Do I wish we could get one, of course I do.
    But trading McDonough for one is not the right move. Especially not for an aging centermen. We already tried that for years before the cap & it never worked.

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