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McDonagh wants Nashville to benefit from his leadership

EDINA, Minnesota Ryan McDonagh is excited about the opportunity to play for the Nashville Predators this season.

The Predators acquired the defenseman in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 3 for the defenseman Philippe Myers and forward prospect Grant Mismash.

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The 33-year-old played five seasons with the Lightning and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021. He also reached the Finals last season, but Tampa Bay lost in six games to Los Angeles. ‘Colorado Avalanche.

“It’s hard to leave the guys and everything we’ve accomplished in Tampa,” McDonagh admitted during a game in the Da Beauty League, a summer league in Minnesota that features players from the NHL, American Hockey League (AHL) and NCAA who reside in Minnesota. “But those moments will be etched in our memory forever. I am excited to join a team that is hungry to win. It is a team of veterans with several younger players. Having faced them over the years, I know they are a tough team to beat and I look forward to helping them as much as I can. »

McDonagh had 26 points (four goals, 22 assists) in 71 regular season games and five points (one goal, four assists) in 23 playoff games last season.

It will probably be paired with Matthias Ekholm in Nashville and he brings depth and experience to a defensive squad already made up of Roman Josia Norris Trophy finalist as the NHL’s best defenseman last season and winner of the trophy in 2020. Slightly less experienced players like Dante Fabbro and Jérémy Lauzon also play on the Predators’ blue line.

“They have a core that’s been there for a while and they’ve been through a lot together,” McDonagh added. It’s a band that’s gone far in the past, and I’m sure they’re starving, so I want to be a part of it. »

See also  Niederreiter heads for Nashville

Providing leadership is something McDonagh knows well. He captained the New York Rangers from 2014 to 2018 before being traded to the Lightning. He was an assistant captain with the Lightning for the past three seasons.

Video: [email protected], #5: McDonagh sort l’artillerie lourde

“I’ve always benefited from the help of veterans who were leaders during my career,” explained McDonagh. Whether I have a letter or not, that’s something I want to bring to Nashville. »

While transactions are a difficult aspect of hockey, McDonagh chooses to focus on the positive.

“At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity,” McDonagh said. That’s what I focus on. Nashville is a great place to live, a great place to raise a family with my wife and kids. It’s a hockey market that loves its players. You want to be part of such an environment and contribute to it. I am impatient. »

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