TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning traded veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators on Sunday, clearing significant salary cap space to make more moves this offseason.
They received defenseman Philippe Myers and forward prospect Grant Mismash in the deal. Exchanging McDonagh's $6.75 million cap hit for Myers' $2.55 million could allow the Eastern Conference champions to bring back top left winger and playoff star Ondrej Palat.
Tampa Bay might also now have the room to bring back defenseman Jan Rutta, who like Palat was set to be a free agent when the market opens July 13. General manager Julien BriseBois did not have an update on either situation, but acknowledged moving McDonagh does open the door to more possibilities.
“It gives us the flexibility to potentially re-sign Palat or Rutta or address holes that need to be filled on the free agent market or the trade market," BriseBois said, adding he plans to speak with their respective agents in the coming days.
McDonagh, 33, was a key part of Tampa Bay winning the Stanley Cup back to back in 2020 and ’21 and reaching the final this past season. He is under contract for four more years and gives the Predators another seasoned player on the blue line who has reached the playoffs in each of his 12 NHL seasons.
“Ryan McDonagh is the ultimate team player who will bring experience and leadership to our lineup,” Predators GM David Poile said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that he waived his no movement clause to come to Nashville. With the ability to play in any situation, he immediately strengthens our defensive corps.”
Myers has now been traded in consecutive offseason after going from Philadelphia to Nashville last summer in the deal that sent defenseman Ryan Ellis to the Flyers. The 25-year-old becomes Tampa Bay's latest value rehab project after struggling so much last season the Predators put him on waivers and loaned him to Toronto's top minor league affiliate.
BriseBois said the plan was to work with Myers rather than exploring buying out the final year of his contract.
“For whatever reason, things didn’t work out for him at the tail end in Philly and in Nashville last season,” he said. "We figure there are enough tools there that intrigue us enough to work with him and help him reach the potential we saw not too much long ago.”