In the final 90 minutes of the NHL Trade Deadline, the moves started to come in faster and faster. One of the trades announced about an hour out of the end of the line for when trades could be made was that Adam McQuaid was being traded by the New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets — the team that originally drafted McQuaid in round two of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 25, 2019
For the Rangers, McQuaid was rumored to be on his way out and for the Blue Jackets, this is just another in a long line of many trades that provide evidence Columbus is going all-in on a run for the Stanley Cup this season. They’ve now added Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and McQuaid in trades over the last 72 hours.
The details of the trade are a fourth and a seventh-round pick to the Rangers for McQuaid. In essence, the Rangers got back some of the draft picks they gave up to acquire McQuaid from the Boston Bruins this past off-season.
What McQuaid Offers the Blue Jackets
Not a top-tier blueliner, McQuaid is certainly useful. A tough player, he gives the Blue Jackets a solid 5-6 defenseman and brings some snarl to the backside. Considered a great teammate and a tough, character personality, he had five points in 32 games for the Rangers this season.
McQuaid was scratched from the Rangers lineup and it wasn’t a shock to see him move. The Blue Jackets were one of the teams interested, but this now begs the question, ‘what will the Toronto Maple Leafs do?’. They were the other team in the running for McQuaid’s services. They certainly could have used some of the toughness McQuaid provides.
The Blue Jackets were also in on Niklas Kronwall, but the Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reported, that Kronwall has informed the Detroit Red Wings he does not wish to be traded, thus McQuaid became the go-to guy. The Blue Jackets needed defensive depth, and McQuaid certainly provides it.
What’s Next For Columbus?
It would be hard to imagine the Blue Jackets doing anything else, but with the way things have gone so far, one should rule them out at their own peril. With just a third-round pick and a seventh-round pick (originally Calgary’s) in this year’s upcoming draft, the Blue Jackets don’t exactly have a lot of assets left to offer in trade, sans one.
There is still some buzz surrounding Artemi Panarin and while the talk has quieted down, in one fell swoop, GM Jarmo Kekäläinen could recoup all the draft picks he’s given up.
It has been an absolutely crazy couple of days for the Blue Jackets organization and it will be interesting to see what they do to finish the day, how they fare in the playoffs and what happens over the summer. With so many players on expiring contracts, including all the players they picked up over the past few days, this could be a team that has to rebuild as early as next season.
Can they convince any of these players to stick around after this season? Duchene was on the phone with the Sportsnet panel when the McQuaid trade was announced and he confirmed how excited the team is going into the postseason, but there’s no telling how the team will feel if they don’t go deep.
** Update: Kevin Weeks is reporting the Rangers also get defenseman Julius Bergman in the deal.
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) February 25, 2019