O Captain! My Captain!

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Ryan McDonagh has been our most consistent and dominant defenseman since his first full season on the blueline in 2011. To think that McDonagh, a 12th overall pick in 2007, was dished off to us by Montreal in the Scott Gomez deal is truly remarkable.

McDonagh, since that trade has become one of the most reliable defenseman in shutting down the opposing teams superstars. McDonagh has been tested by the likes of Ovechkin, Crosby, and Giroux and has been able to shut them down night in and night out.His leadership and performance on the ice was enough to drive the Rangers into the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. After becoming a fan favorite for his gritty play McDonagh was named the 27th team captain before the 2014-2015 season began.

McDonagh has been consistent on the ice offensively and defensively. This past season he potted 9 goals and added 25 helpers along the way. Although offence was never his strong suit, he’s been able to produce in big situations when called upon. Where McDonagh earns his money is in the locker room and in his own defensive zone. This past year McDonagh was a +26, proving his value on the ice. When McDonagh is on the ice the Rangers are a better team, period. The year prior, Mcdonagh was a + 23. Another staggering statistic is the fact that every year McDonagh has been a professional, all with the Rangers, he has never had a negative year in +/-. Pretty astounding for a player who is playing all the big minutes against the best scorers in the league and in the world.

Whats even more remarkable about McDonagh is his contract. In 2013, McDonagh signed a 6 year, 28.2 million contract that extends him out through the 2019-2020 season. This contract holds a 4.7 million dollar cap hit for those years. I’ll start off by saying any shut down defenseman who has a proven track record and makes under 5 million dollars is a steal. These types of players are hard to come by. But a player like McDonagh, team captain and leader on the ice, is an even better bargain than many other defenseman in the league. For the time being, his contract is excellent, and McDonagh will not be going anywhere anytime soon. What is interesting to think about is what will happen to the captain after the 2019-2020 season, when McDonagh is 31 years old and demands a larger contract? Likely, we will be looking at moving him come trade deadline the year before, or if McDonagh is willing to negotiate a bargain contract to be able to stay in New York. That is a long time coming and for now we should focus on the present

Dont expect to see McDonaghs name floating around in trade talks and if it is, don’t waste your time reading it, it’s not gonna happen. Ryan McDonagh will be our captain in the 2016-2017 season, he will lead the blueline, and he will make the defense better come October.

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