June 30, 2009, will be a date fans of the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers will remember for a long time. On that day, Glen Sather made arguably the best trade in New York Rangers history.
Ryan McDonagh was traded to the New York Rangers, now a top two defenseman that leads by example.Ryan McDonagh was selected twelfth overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft. With high credentials Ryan McDonagh was named the 2007 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award, given to the best senior player in the state. After he was drafted, Ryan McDonagh won a silver medal with Team USA in the 2007 IIHF World U18 Championships. Before ever playing a National Hockey League game. It looked like Ryan McDonagh would be a star.
Two years after he was drafted, the Montreal Canadiens traded Ryan McDonagh to the New York Rangers. The Montreal Canadiens sent Ryan McDonagh, Chris Higgins, Pavel Valentenko, and Doug Janik to the New York Rangers for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt, and Michael Busto. Everybody in that trade has moved on to other teams or other leagues. Every player except New York Rangers’ defenseman Ryan McDonagh, a household name in New York today.
Ryan McDonagh has become one of the best players on the New York Rangers since the trade in 2009.
Ryan McDonagh played an average 24:49 in the 2014 regular season and 26:48 during the playoffs per game. He scored forty-three points in the regular season, four shorthanded. Tied with Rick Nash for most on the New York Rangers while shorthanded. He led the New York Rangers with seventeen points in twenty-five playoff games this past spring. Ryan McDonagh is a career +65 with an on ice corsi for of (51.0%) fifty-one percent. The New York Rangers play a puck possession game now under head coach Alain Vigneault. His on ice corsi percentage and other possession statistics are beneficial. With Ryan Callahan in Tampa Bay after the trade for Martin St. Louis, the New York Rangers were left without a captain.
After the trade for MSL that sent Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay, Brad Richards took on the role of unofficial “captain”.
The New York Rangers had three alternate captains for the rest of the 13/14 season. After the trade deadline Brad Richards took on the role of leader in the New York Rangers locker room. The New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals in six tough games. The New York Rangers and Ryan McDonagh played five games in the Stanley Cup Finals with no captain. That experience is without a doubt the driving force behind the players on the New York Rangers that remain from that 2014 team.
Head Coach Alain Vigneault should name Ryan McDonagh the next captain of the New York Rangers.Brad Richards is now gone and Alain Vigneault needs to name a captain for the 2015 New York Rangers, and the honor should be given to Ryan McDonagh. A case can be made to give the captaincy to a few players on the New York Rangers; Martin St. Louis was captain in Tampa Bay for the Lightning. Rick Nash was captain in Columbus for the Blue Jackets. Ryan McDonagh has been with the New York Rangers longer and has earned it with his play. Hopefully he will stay in New York for many seasons and will continue to get better, and maybe even win a Norris Trophy for the best defenseman.
Ryan McDonagh is only twenty-five years old but plays as if he’s been in the league forever. He hits everyone that skates past him. New York fans and players have nicknamed him the “MacTruck”. It’s not by accident that he was picked to represent Team USA in this years Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It’s not by accident that you will see Ryan McDonagh with a “C” on his chest next season. He’s definitely earned it in his time with the New York Rangers.