Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller


The Tampa Bay Lightning bring home Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller in a trade deadline deal with the New York Rangers.

The NHL Trade deadline is quite possibly the most anxious day for any hockey fan, including fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Twitter feeds are constantly refreshed to see if any of the Lightning’s roster players have been sent away. Today, it seemed very quiet all the way up to the 3 p.m. deadline. Then, total chaos erupted.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers for defenseman Libor Hajek, forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Brett Howden, a 2018 first round pick and a conditional second-round pick, according to tampabaylightning.com.

This isn’t the first time the Lightning acquired the captain of the Rangers. In 2014, the two teams traded captains, forward Ryan Callahan going to the Bolts and forward Martin St.Louis to the Rangers.

There had been rumors for the past week involving Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, and McDonagh. Karlsson and Green both remain with their teams.

McDonagh reunites with former Rangers Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, and Callahan.

With 26 points in 49 games played, McDonagh is currently on a $4.7 million per year deal through the 2018-19 season.

The Lightning also acquires J.T. Miller, who has 40 points so far this season, the second highest on the Rangers team before the trade.

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Now the question is where McDonagh and Miller will fall in the lineup. With another veteran defenseman on the roster, spreading the wealth might be the best option. There may be a McDonagh and Girardi reunion in the making. The pair has played in 95 playoff games together with the Rangers, including a Stanley Cup Finals run in 2014.

The biggest loss of the trade for the Bolts this season is Namestnikov. The center has 44 points this season in 62 games played, a career best. Much of that success is due to the Kucherov and Stamkos line, as well as ice time on the first powerplay unit.

The Lightning also gave up Libor Hajek and Brett Howden. Howden was Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2016 and has four points in five AHL games. Hajek recorded eight points in seven games for the Czech Republic in the World Juniors.

Both prospects have a lot of potential, and are strong for the Rangers to rebuild their team.

The bottom line is that general manager Steve Yzerman works his magic once again. Yzerman brings in two key additions with only giving up one roster player, who is due for a new contract anyway. Yzerman’s goal was to keep our team intact; despite many teams requesting players like Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev, Yzerman stays put and still makes the biggest trade deadline deal.

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Following the afternoon scramble of a trade, the Bolts won in a shootout 4-3 against a division rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kucherov left the game early with an upper-body injury. The Bolts take on the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday at home.