Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller Traded to Lightning; Rangers Land Picks, More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2018

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 17:  Ryan McDonagh #27 of the New York Rangers controls the puck during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 17, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning were already in first place in the NHL but will now be even tougher to beat after acquiring Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers, per ESPN

As Bob McKenzie of TSN first reported, the Rangers received Vladislav Namestnikov, Libor Hajek and Brett Howden in return, as well as a first-round pick and a conditional second-round pick. The second selection will become a first-rounder if the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in one of the next two seasons, per ESPN.

This move ended a fire sale for the Rangers, who sit in last place in the Metropolitan Division with just 60 points in 63 games. The team appears destined to miss the playoffs for the first time in eight years, so the front office decided it was a good time to deal off its top assets and start a rebuilding process.

Per NHL.com, the team dealt Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Nick Holden and more in recent days, although the latest trade is even more significant.

McDonagh was the Rangers' captain and has spent his entire eight-year NHL career with the organization. However, Adam Herman of Sporting News noted the reason this deal needed to be made:

ESPN Stats & Info provided a full breakdown of the recent moves from New York:

Meanwhile, the Lightning were already a top contender, boasting the No. 1 scoring offense in the NHL before bolstering the defense with an experienced player who has appeared in 96 career playoff games. Adding the 24-year-old Miller, who ranked second on the Rangers with 40 points this year, only makes this group even better.

With the talent around them at Amalie Arena, both McDonagh and Miller could be in line to put up big numbers during the final six weeks of the season.

Additionally, these additions can help beyond just this year. McDonagh, 28, has one more year on his $4.7 million-per-year contract after this season, per Spotrac. Miller will be a restricted free agent, which means the team could work to keep him if he makes a positive impression in the coming months.

This could make Tampa Bay even scarier for the rest of the NHL going forward.

Related

    New Rangers coach demanded more toughness — and he got it

    New York Rangers logo
    New York Rangers

    New Rangers coach demanded more toughness — and he got it

    New York Post
    via New York Post

    Rangers Vs. Islanders: Rangers Fall to Islanders 5-2 in Connecticut

    New York Rangers logo
    New York Rangers

    Rangers Vs. Islanders: Rangers Fall to Islanders 5-2 in Connecticut

    Blueshirt Banter
    via Blueshirt Banter

    Rangers drop preseason game to Islanders 5-2

    New York Rangers logo
    New York Rangers

    Rangers drop preseason game to Islanders 5-2

    SNY
    via SNY

    Islanders vs. Rangers preseason

    New York Rangers logo
    New York Rangers

    Islanders vs. Rangers preseason

    Newsday
    via Newsday