When you trade for a player of McDonagh‘s status, you never think you will be talking about him potentially being traded just months later. But obviously, the Predators season has not at all gone according to plan, so here we are.
McDonagh, like Ekholm, was struggling at the beginning of the year, as the team was figuring out how to best manage the abundance of left-handed defensemen on the roster. But he eventually got put on a pair with Josi, and the two have played some excellent hockey together.
Once again, I do not see an issue of McDonagh not being worth his contract, as he has continued to be a legit defensive defenseman who fits extremely well with someone who is way more offensively-minded.
He is also a proven great leader with championship pedigree, and anyone from the Tampa Bay Lightning will rave about how his play on the ice and presence in the locker room made a huge difference in their success. How could you not want a guy like that if you as a team have Cup ambitions?
But what is the true kicker in this situation is that McDonagh’s contract contains a full no-trade clause, and only in its final year does it become a 12-team no-trade clause. He has complete power to veto any trade, and considering that not only did he just move to Nashville — the place he chose to come to when he when the Lightning traded him — but he has already won two Cups, he likely just wants to stay put and continue to settle in with his family.
Opposing teams might be even more willing to trade for McDonagh than Ekholm, but if he does not want to get dealt, any discussion of that is automatically over. A hard maybe is the absolute best likelihood of McDonagh getting traded, but he is an overall good asset to have, so keeping him would not be the end of the world.