Lightning add Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh on trade-deadline day
The Tampa Bay Lightning strengthened their Eastern Conference-leading team by acquiring New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh.
The Rangers spurred their franchise overhaul by adding yet another first-round draft pick in consecutive days.
And Senators captain Erik Karlsson is staying in Ottawa for the remainder of the season after the league's trading deadline passed Monday afternoon.
The Lightning struck among the most significant deals by adding the 28-year-old McDonagh to a lineup already well-stocked with elite defensemen. Tampa Bay also acquired left wing J.T. Miller, a Coraopolis native and two-time 20-goal-scorer.
The Rangers acquired three players, including forward Vladislav Namestnikov, plus a first-round pick in this year's draft and a conditional first-rounder in 2019.
The deal came a day after the Rangers landed two draft picks, including a first-rounder, and three players in trading power forward Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins.
“You look at these opportunities when they come along, and maybe we take advantage or get an opportunity because teams feel they can win and we can make these deals,” Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said.
The day was otherwise dominated by a series of moves involving four of seven Central Division rivals.
The Winnipeg Jets gave up a first-round draft pick as part of a trade to acquire six-time 20-goal-scoring forward Paul Stastny in a trade with St. Louis.
The Nashville Predators also gave up a first-round pick as part of a deal to land forward Ryan Hartman from the Chicago Blackhawks.
And the expansion Vegas Golden Knights added to their Western Conference-leading team by acquiring three-time 20-goal-scoring forward Tomas Tatar from Detroit. The Red Wings added three draft picks, including a first-round pick.
The San Jose Sharks added size and scoring by acquiring Evander Kane from Buffalo for two picks, including a conditional 2019 first-round selection, and a prospect.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson attributed the amount of high draft picks swapped on how tight the playoff races are, particularly in the Western Conference.
“It's supply and demand of those players that can make a difference,” Wilson said. “Some people would say pricey, but it almost always is pricey at this time of year when you have competitive juices flowing.”