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Lightning Land Defenseman Ryan McDonagh in Trade with Predators

The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh in a trade with the Nashville Predators.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have bolstered their defense by acquiring veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh and the Edmonton Oilers’ fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft from the Nashville Predators. In return, Tampa Bay sends its second-round selection in 2025 and its seventh-round pick in 2024 to Nashville, as announced by vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois. Notably, no salary was retained in the trade.

McDonagh, who turns 35 next month, has two more years remaining on his contract with an annual average value (AAV) of $6.75 million. This move comes as the Predators deal with a $5.55 million cap hit from Matt Duchene‘s buyout next season, a financial burden they needed to consider.

Pierre LeBrun reports that the Lightning were keen on adding a top-four defenseman this summer. Pursuing an unrestricted free agent (UFA) likely would have required committing to a longer-term deal than Tampa Bay desired. McDonagh’s contract, with only two years left, was a more suitable option for the team. Given McDonagh’s previous tenure with the Lightning, this acquisition is expected to be well-received in the locker room.

McDonagh Still Has Some Game Left to Give Lightning

Last season, McDonagh played 74 games with the Predators, scoring three goals and totaling 32 points, ranking second among Nashville defensemen. He led the Predators with a plus-19 rating and was second in blocked shots (139) and average time on ice (21:47). The 6-foot-1, 215-pound blueliner averaged over five blocked shots per 60 minutes (5.17) for the 12th time in his career, showcasing his defensive prowess.

Ryan McDonagh trade Lightning

McDonagh has had a distinguished 14-season NHL career with the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Nashville Predators. He has appeared in 928 NHL games, amassing 76 goals and 389 points with a plus-246 rating. A Stanley Cup Champion with the Lightning in 2020 and 2021, McDonagh played a crucial role in those victories, recording one goal and 13 points during the playoff runs.

His return to Tampa Bay is poised to significantly strengthen the Lightning’s defensive unit as they aim for another deep playoff run. The next question becomes juggling their own cap situation so the team can attempt to re-sign Steven Stamkos.

Next: Elias Lindholm Shines in Playoffs, Future with Canucks Uncertain

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