The speculation has been alive and heard in the last few days: the Toronto Maple Leafs could make a move to land New York Rangers captain and star defenseman Ryan McDonagh. After all, his 10-team no-trade list does not include the Leafs, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported, as he also noted, however, Toronto has yet to decide to "get serious on an offer" to the Rangers for the defenseman.
According to LeBrun, the Boston Bruins are also interested in the Rangers captain, but they are unwilling to pay the Rangers’ current asking price. The Bruins already acquired defender Nick Holden from the Blue Shirts earlier this week for a third-round pick and defenseman Rob O'Gara. The Tampa Bay Lightning is also looking to add a quality blue liner ahead of Monday.
It is now reported by Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, that though the Maple Leafs are linked to McDonagh in trade chatter, he believes they’ll knock on the door for Detroit Red Wings' Mike Green more than anyone else. Green is a rental and will come cheaper than McDonagh, who still has term on his contract he’ll be more expensive to acquire. The 28-year-old still has one year and $5.3 million remaining on the six-year deal he signed with New York in 2014.
We can see lots of similarities between McDonagh’s situation and the one surrounding Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. He’s got another year left on his contract and the Rangers will seek a significant return, something along the lines of a good young NHL player, a first-round pick and a top prospect.
If the Bruins want that asking price to drop, you can bet the Leafs and Lightning will expect a lower price tag as well, with only three days to go before the trade deadline. However, just like the Senators with Karlsson, the Rangers can afford to wait until this summer for better offers.
In 49 games this season, McDonagh has tallied two goals and 26 points, while averaging 23:55 of ice time per contest. However, McDonagh has been sidelined since Feb. 7 due to an upper-body injury, but Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault revealed on Wednesday he would resume practising in the next few days.
Up until now, any talk surrounding the Leafs and deadline day moves has been mostly reserved to rumours and speculation that Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello will look to tweak his team’s lineup. A move to acquire McDonagh however, would surely blow up the team’s forward lines. That’s because it’s expected that any deal between the Leafs and the Rangers for McDonagh would HAVE to include Leafs sophomore William Nylander.
Toronto's most recent moves, shipping Nikita Soshnikov to the St. Louis Blues and Eric Fehr to the San Jose Sharks, give it some flexibility at this year’s deadline.
But the target might be aiming more towards Detroit than the Big Apple.