Two things first. One, Ryan McDonagh is a guy I want on my blue line. Give me a shot at him and I’ll take it. And two, I hate trade speculation. The deals rarely come to fruition and social media GM’s aren’t exactly smart.
That being said, it does sound like the Bruins are in the mix for Ryan McDonagh should he truly be available. I find it kind of funny that after the B’s essentially murdered the Rangers season last week to the tune of a 6-1 slaughter that they’re now standing over the Rags dead body and attempting to rip out their heart for a trophy as well.
McDonagh will be a prime 29 years old this summer and carrying with him a $4.7 million per year deal through the 2018-2019 season. Now in his 8th NHL season, he is a 6-time All-Star and has received Norris Trophy votes at the end of 5 of those seasons. He is as legit a trade deadline option you can find for any team. He’s the only known available big ticket player I’d want the B’s to deal for.
The main issue facing the Bruins in making a deal for McDonagh begins on their own blue line. A defenseman from the current Bruins NHL roster would have to go. Currently Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are the B’s only true young right shot defensemen. They’re part of the defensive core that has had such a good season so far. And Mac Attack isn’t going anywhere.
If Brandon Carlo is part of the asking price for McDonagh that complicates things a bit. In a vacuum, or in NHL 18’s franchise mode trade section, a pick and prospect package alongside Carlo for McDonagh does make sense talent wise. He is likely who the Rangers would want. But it would screw up the B’s strong L-shot/R-shot D pairing balance that Cassidy loves and currently has because McDonagh is a lefty.
The Bruins have piles of quality left shot D prospects. I would prefer they pull a part off that heap and ship it out instead Carlo, be it with a Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, or Jakub Zboril, etc. Without a top young forward to offset a Carlo-less package I’m sure there would be better deals on the table elsewhere for the Rangers.
As for those top young forwards go there are plenty. Danton Heinen would be the target and New York would likely have to get in the octagon to try to pry him away from Don Sweeney. Jake DeBrusk would be an option as well. If you go right down the line the Rangers would entertain many options including “not your grampa’s” version of Ryan Spooner, Ryan Donato, Anders Bjork, JFK, Trent Frederic, Jack Studnicka, and more. Any could be packaged with a 1st round pick and more.
So I’ll do my part and not speculate as to who actually gets traded. There’s plenty of people doing that. But I will maintain my condition that keeping the L-shot/R-shot D pair balance would be ideal, and the B’s have enough chips to help make a legit counter offer should Carlo be the target.
Deal or no deal Bruins fans should embrace the fact that the B’s are being viewed as a real contender now. If they don’t make a move for McDonagh because of the high price tag it’s still okay. Their good and plentiful drafting has put them in a position to make a great hockey trade at the right time or stay the course.
But there is one thing to keep in mind that we’ve said here all along, and that is the B’s won’t be able to keep and pay all of these players in their system. Some will have to go. And some should go while their value is higher when viewed as a “top prospect” rather than too late when we find out which ones didn’t pan out.
With the Bruins “rebuild on the fly” ahead of schedule, if I were Sweeney, I think Ryan McDonagh is a player worthy of making a move for right now if he felt he should.
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