For headline purposes, the term “fire sale” works just fine as applied to MSG ownership’s commitment to transform the Rangers roster just as it transformed the building over the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Literally, however, with all dictionary definitions of the term as both a noun and adjective featuring the descriptive words “heavily discounted prices,” this is not at all what general manager Jeff Gorton and his staff have in mind. Which, as the process began with a winning trade Tuesday of pending free agent Nick Holden to the Bruins for a third-round draft choice and 24-year-old defenseman Rob O’Gara, is why Ryan McDonagh might remain the Rangers captain beyond the Feb. 26 deadline even as a swirl of suitors circle the situation. Because Gorton has no intention of trading any of his available blue-chip properties — let alone McDonagh among a stable including pending free agents Rick Nash and Michael Grabner — for less than 125 cents on the dollar. This all is about business. Nash, a profile of professionalism, has made that clear since it became apparent that he would be traded as a rental even after professing his strong desire to remain in New York. But for McDonagh, a Blueblood in his eighth season on Broadway whose pronounced club-friendly contract runs through 2018-19 and who stands as the second most-important longterm Ranger behind Henrik Lundqvist since the franchise’s rejuvenation in 2005-06, this must seem very personal. It must have been jarring for the 28-year-old, who has always carried himself with the utmost respect for the organization and whose persona has been beyond reproach since the moment he got here from the University of Wisconsin as part of the Montreal Heist for Scott Gomez, to learn that the Rangers have decided that their best future involves going forward without him.
Ryan McDonagh’s interesting place in Rangers’ fire sale
New York Post | Feb 21