Ryan McDonagh’s branch
As we get to the fourth player in this deal for the Rangers, it is by far the most significant. Former New York Ranger captain Ryan McDonagh was the other piece, and this is where a deal that looked somewhat average for both sides becomes a homerun shot for the Blueshirts. Not just a home run at Yankee Stadium, either. This gets smashed out of almost every stadium in the world.
McDonagh spent eight years as a New York Ranger. He was made captain after Ryan Callahan’s trade to Tampa in 2014. During his 516 games as a member of the New York Rangers, McDonagh recorded 51 goals and 187 assists for 238 points as a member of the Blueshirts. He played in the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and was a warrior on the blueline for many years.
However, all good things come to an end. During the 2017-18 NHL season, the New York Rangers wrote a letter telling the fans that they would undergo a retooling because they did not believe they could win the Stanley Cup with the core they had in place. As the deadline ticked closer, key parts would be dealt away, and the Rangers would start their descent into the basement of the NHL, and on February 26th, 2018, McDonagh was dealt.
McDonagh was packaged with J.T. Miller and sent to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Libor Hajek, Brett Howden, Vladislav Namestnikov, a 2018 1st-round pick, and a 2018 2nd-round pick. This was quite the haul for the Blueshirts captain. McDonagh would win back-to-back Stanley Cups as a member of the Lightning, so he did get his championship eventually.
To tie up the easy ends here, the 2018 2nd round pick was used to draft center Karl Henriksson who is still in the organization. He was playing with the Hartford Wolf Pack last season. Libor Hajek was not qualified and walked away from the organization as an unrestricted free agent this summer. As far as I can see, he’s still not signed anywhere at the time of writing.
Vladislav Namestnikov was traded to Ottawa for Nick Ebert and a 2021 4th-round pick. Ebert left the organization after the season. The pick became Kalle Väisänen, still on the Rangers reserve list.
Moving on to Brett Howden, he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2022 4th-round pick that became Noah Laba, who is still in the organization, and Nick DeSimone, who left the hockey club.
Finally, the 2018 1st-round pick. This was used to select defenseman Nils Lundkvist. Lundkvist was dealt to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 2023 1st-round pick and a conditional 2025 4th-round pick that can still become a 3rd if Lundkvist puts up 55 points or more in his first 2 seasons in Dallas. That 1st round pick was used in the package that brought Vladimir Tarasenko to New York at the deadline in 2023.
This deal is still developing, so it will be a while until we see this trade tree finalized, but we know that the Rangers win this deal quite comfortably. To get back a future captain for a man that would be bought out a few years after the trade is a massive success. To get everything else the Rangers have from this deal almost 15 years ago is great work by the Blueshirts organization.