In case you missed it, as was reported earlier today the New York Rangers traded star winger Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins in exchange for forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, prospect Ryan Lindgren and a 1st and 7th round pick.
This deal comes just two days after the team also shipped out Michael Grabner to the New Jersey Devils for prospect Yegor Rykov and a 2nd round pick:
Earlier in the week the Rangers also shipped out veteran defenseman Nick Holden to the Boston Bruins in exchange for minor league defenseman Rob O’Gara and a 3rd round pick.
All of this is to say that the Rangers are in full-on rebuild mode. And they’re not done yet… not by a long shot. Multiple sources have reported today that the Rangers are not even close to being done on the trade market and it’s expected that they’ll still ship out captain Ryan McDonagh before Monday’s 3pm ET deadline.
Reports from respected NHL insiders Pierre LeBrun, Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger indicate that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning all have interest in the 28-year-old McDonagh, but it remains to be seen how the Bruins’ addition of Nash affects their ability to make a deal. As for the Leafs and Lightning, it’s believed that neither team’s GM is interested in offering up anything from their current roster. If the Rangers want to ship out McDonagh, they’ll have to settle for picks and prospects.
For what it’s worth, dubious NHL insider Eklund reports that the Rangers aren’t done trading yet and are clearing the deck for a potential Erik Karlsson addition this upcoming offseason:
That’s… interesting. Unlikely, but interesting. Why would Karlsson be interested in going from one rebuilding team to another? There’s no doubt the Rangers have the money to pony up… but would Karlsson make them a better team in the long-run? Why not stick with the rebuilding strategy and go with youth?
A more tapped in source, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, reported last night that another Florida-based team has interest in McDonagh: The Florida Panthers.
Sportsnet's John Shannon confirmed Friedman's report and Panthers blog Cats on the Prowl followed things up a a reported offer from the Panthers:
Interesting. There’s a fit that no one has really reported up until now. If you think about it, though… it’s a good fit. McDonagh and Aaron Ekblad have the makings of a MONSTER shut down pair together. And with McDonagh in the lineup, with a healthy Roberto Luongo back between the pipes, you can’t count the Panthers out of the playoff run in the East.
Buckle up hockey fans… the next 24 hours are going to get VERY interesting.