The Tampa Bay Lightning were among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup before Monday's NHL trade deadline, but they just upped their chances by agreeing to acquire defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers.
The Rangers will receive a 2018 first-round draft pick, a conditional second-rounder in 2019, forward Vladislav Namestnikov -- who will be a restricted free agent after the season -- and prospects Libor Hajek and Brett Howden. If the Lightning win the Stanley Cup this season or next, it is believed the 2019 pick becomes a first-rounder, according to TSN.
The trade was reportedly agreed to just before the 3 p.m. deadline and the league had to be informed for it to go through.
"[Lightning general manager Steve] Yzerman said he feels that I'm a good character guy and that I can add a lot to the back end," McDonagh said, according to NHL.com. "I want to do whatever I can to help win. There's some big expectations there that I'd love to help be a part of."
Neither McDonagh nor Miller are rentals. McDonagh, 28, is under contract next season with a $4.7 million cap hit, while Miller, 24, has a cap hit of $2.75 million and will be a restricted free agent after this season.
As the Rangers reshape their roster, they have traded their team captain, a title McDonagh has held the past four seasons.
McDonagh has two goals and 24 assists on the season while he continues to be a reliable presence on the ice, averaging more than 22 minutes per game for the seventh consecutive season.
Miller has 13 goals and 27 assists in 63 games this season after breaking the 20-goal mark in each of the past two.
McDonagh was an All-Star in 2016 and 2017. He was a first-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2007 but has played his entire NHL career with the Rangers after signing an entry-level contract with the club in 2010.
It marks the second time in four years the Rangers have traded their captain to Tampa Bay at the deadline. In 2014, New York dealt captain Ryan Callahan (along with two draft picks) to the Lightning for Martin St. Louis. McDonagh took on the role of captain the following season.
Former Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi signed with Tampa last July.