So the Tampa Bay Lightning made a trade.
In McDonagh, the Lightning pick up a proven, left-handed top-four defenseman with an additional year left on his contract with a salary cap hit of $4.7 million. While some of his numbers defensively look a little scary, it’s also important to note that the Rangers have not been a very good defensive team. Additionally, McDonagh won’t have to take on the top lines every night as that will fall to Victor Hedman on the first pair.
Draft picks in NYR/TB deal. There is a first in 2018 and a second-rounder that becomes a first if TB wins the Stanley Cup this year or next— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 26, 2018
We didn’t get Erik Karlsson, but we also didn’t do nothing. This deal seems to be a good mix of getting a high quality defenseman while still keeping the most valuable assets in the organization.
TSN just mentioned the notion that Yzerman may have been holding everything up by going heavy on Karlsson so as to distract from the McDonagh deal, and not allow anyone else to really jump in on him. That's ridiculous, and the most Yzerman thing I've ever heard.— Spencer Fascetta (@PuckNerdHockey) February 26, 2018
The addition of J.T. Miller meant that Vladislav Namestnikov was expendable. Vladdy is a good player who would have been great for the Lightning, but Yzerman knew his new contract would cause problems so he got maximum value for him before it became a problem. That’s about as good as it can get. [Raw Charge]
It’s kind of funny. A lot of us around Raw Charge thought we would be writing this post last summer after the expansion draft. Then General Manager Steve Yzerman went out and did what he does - he pulled off an unexpected trade with Montreal that sent a disgruntled Jonathan Drouin to Montreal and freed up a spot on the protected list for Vlad Namestnikov. That bought us a little extra time with the versatile Russian forward. He rewarded us (the fans and the team) with his best season to date, scoring 20 goals and adding another 24 assists.
One all that dust settled, we had a game to play (against the second-best team in the Atlantic). The Toronto Maple Leafs came into town sporting their new fourth-line center and the two teams played to a very tight 4-3 shootout final with the Lightning coming out on top in the skills competition. [Raw Charge]
Unfortunately, Tampa Bay couldn’t get away from the injury bug. Nikita Kucherov did not play after the first period and was ruled out for the game during the second intermission due to an upper-body injury—that’s all we know at this time. We were told that the prognosis is quite positive and Kucherov is likely to play Wednesday night against Buffalo.
Lots of gloves in this game.
Paquette thought that Leo should have been penalized, doesn't like it and throws his glove at the referee. The referee then picks it up and throws the glove back at Paquette on the bench. pic.twitter.com/Ij2bGGrXtQ— Flintor (@TheFlintor) February 27, 2018
WAIT WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT KUCHEROV? Unfortunately, barely five minutes into his game against the Leafs Kuch was forced to leave the game and not return because of an upper-body injury. [Raw Charge]
Leading scorer Nikita Kucherov left the Tampa Bay Lightning game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period on Monday night. He played only 5:19 and left after only six shifts. He was on the ice for the first goal, scored by Chris Kunitz, for the Lightning, but left soon after. There was no apparent moment when an injury could have happened and he skated off normally on his last shift.
News sounds encouraging for Nikita Kucherov (upper body). Hearing he could be available to play the next game Wednesday. #tblightning. Should get more update post-game— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) February 27, 2018
Puck decides it does not want to go in. pic.twitter.com/WXBmqiLZWk— Flintor (@TheFlintor) February 27, 2018
While most fans focus on the wheelings and dealings that affect NHL clubs, the trade deadline looms large for AHL clubs as well. For the Crunch it’s not likely that they are going to get much in the way of help from Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman this year. If anything, any moves that he might make, would most likely pull talent away from the Crunch. Cirelli, Stephens, Volkov and Joseph could be players thrown into deals for the final piece of the puzzle that Mr. Yzerman thinks he needs.
The deadline comes and goes and there isn’t a player on the Crunch having to pack their bags. [Syracuse]
The Crunch roster is loaded with trade-bait prospects who seem to be hitting their stride as the team has surged the past couple of months. Syracuse’s top three leading scorers are all rookies (Anthony Cirelli, Mathieu Joseph and Mitchell Stephens) and young veteran Matthew Peca, who sits in the No. 4 spot, was also potential fodder for a deal. So, too, could have been promising first-year forward Alexander Volkov.
Daniel Walcott likes it when he’s got an edge, and so do his teammates. [Auburn Pub]
“I’m an energetic guy, so if I can spread the wealth with my energy, I’ll do that,” Walcott said. “Also, I want to create plays and play the right way defensively. If I’m on the ice, I can’t get scored on. That’s been a focus for me — to bring energy and be physically, but be sound defensively.”
Who won and who lost the trade deadline? That’s all we really want to know. [ESPN]
Winners: New York Rangers
The Rangers traded three rentals -- Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Nick Holden -- as well as captain Ryan McDonagh and center J.T. Miller. They did so after declaring they were purging the roster in an effort to rebuild and reload the team, having raised the white flag on the season.
“I think Erik wants to be a Senator for life,” Dorion said Monday after the 3 p.m. deadline passed. “I don’t want to speak for him, I’ll let him speak for himself. We’ll see what the next few months bring, but if Erik Karlsson is here on July 1, we will be making him a contract offer.”
The Leafs didn’t do anything apart from Tomas Plekanec (whom we covered yesterday), with the Bruins just meddling on the fringes of their roster after getting Rick Nash over the weekend. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Nick Holden from New York Rangers for Rob O’Gara & 2018 3rd round pick:
There’s no question Holden adds more depth on the back end, but a lot of Ranger fans were happy to see him go. That is never a good sign. Nonetheless, we’ll see how Holden performs in the Spoked B before calling this trade a complete waste. I like O’Gara a lot but he fell back on the depth chart this season and probably deserved a fresh start elsewhere.
Highlight of the Night: We call that an own goal in soccer, kids.