New York Rangers roundtable: Best trade of the Lundqvist era

TAMPA, FL - MAY 22: Martin St. Louis
TAMPA, FL - MAY 22: Martin St. Louis /
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DENVER, CO – JANUARY 20: Ryan McDonagh
DENVER, CO – JANUARY 20: Ryan McDonagh /

Kyle Wentworth- McDonagh trade (to the Rangers)

In looking at all the deals made from the beginning of Henrik Lundqvist’s time in New York, I was stuck.

I was very close to writing about the Martin St. Louis trade that gave the Rangers a jolt and a berth in the Stanley Cup finals in 2014. But then I really thought about it; while that trade was great, the positive results were short lived.

So, I dug deeper and I couldn’t believe I overlooked one.

In 2009 the New York Rangers needed to find a trade partner to dump the contract of Scott Gomez. Finding that partner in Montreal, the prize in the deal was Chris Higgins and the removal of Gomez’s contract. Ryan McDonagh, a young defenseman Montreal had drafted recently, was considered a throw in.

A player that just hadn’t developed offensively, Montreal gave up on McDonagh and included him in the deal for Scott Gomez. Knowing what happened afterward, its safe to say Montreal gave up on him much too quickly.

In his time in New York, Ryan McDonagh was a top pair defenseman and leader of a perennially contending team. He was a consummate professional and everything you’d want in a face of the franchise.

Without him, I’m sure the Rangers don’t come close to the success that the Lundqvist era brought New York. The guy was an absolute anchor to the defensive unit and a key cog in a pretty long run.