In perhaps the first of a few more bold offseason moves by the Nashville Predators in the coming weeks, they traded for veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, per the Lightning’s official team Twitter account:
The trade poses a major gamble for the Predators as they’re acquiring an aging defenseman whose best years are well behind him, and his contract remains a rather expensive one with four years left at $6.75M.
This is a cap casualty for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they couldn’t afford to keep their core intact, and they’ll get additional cap relief by getting Philippe Myers in the trade with Nashville. That contract will be bought out in the coming days most likely.
Grant Mismash is also sent to the Lightning as part of the trade package for McDonagh. Mismash was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft by the Predators, but put up just 12 points in 57 games in the AHL for the Milwaukee Admirals this past season.
Where will McDonagh fit on the Nashville Predators next season?
You would think McDonagh would be a lock for the second pairing, but not so due to him being a left handed defenseman like Mattias Ekholm is. That makes things more complicated, and probably means McDonagh plays on the third pairing with Jeremy Lauzon.
Mark Borowiecki, the other third pairing option before this trade, would be a rotational player. This also leads me to believe that more departures could be in the works for this defensive unit.
The ripple effect of adding McDonagh to the mix makes the futures of Ekholm and Dante Fabbro unclear, to put it mildly.
McDonagh is going to bring a ton of leadership, veteran experience, smart puck movement and stabilty to this unit. This is the encouraging part about this trade, along with not losing hardly anything in return to Tampa Bay.
Here is Andy & Rono’s take on the Nashville Predators trading for McDonagh as they in particular really like his transition abilities, which is something the Predators definitely need more of:
The trade was all about giving Tampa Bay much needed cap relief, which could end up benefiting the Predators greatly in the end. Going into the immediate future of 2022-23, this trade absolutely makes the Predators a better team.
McDonagh put up 26 points for the Lightning last season, while also playing in 23 playoff games as they tried to defend their back-to-back Stanley Cups he was a part of. His real value is being a smart, veteran defenseman who brings stability and leadership.
Now we wait to see what the ripple effect of this trade ends up being.