Some of the best NHL trade stories involve the ones that might have been.
Bob McKenzie had a Monday morning radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260, and he was asked about Larry Brooks’ mention over the weekend (which played off an earlier Elliotte Friedman post) about the potential of a 2016 trade between the Oilers and New York Rangers involving Edmonton’s 4th overall draft pick and Ryan McDonagh.
It was noted to McKenzie how things played out so differently at that draft because of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ decision to take Pierre-Luc Dubois with the No. 3 pick instead of Jesse Puljujarvi.
“It was in play even before Columbus decided to take Pierre-Luc Dubois ahead of Puljujarvi,” indicated McKenzie. “And to the Larry Brooks report in The Post, it’s entirely accurate that the Oilers and Rangers were talking about a McDonagh to Edmonton for the 4th pick. But as Larry Brooks reports, they were not interested in Puljujarvi - they wanted Clayton Keller from the U.S. Under-18 program, who plays center, wing. That was the guy they identified in their minds that was a special player, and I think a lot of people have seen that since he’s gone to Arizona.
“There was so much going on that year at the top end of that draft. To your point about Frank (Seravalli) mentioning the whole Calgary (Flames) thing, there were multiple balls in the air. I can remember being on the draft floor ahead of time and just so much going on trade-wise. Kind of interesting times.
“I think too the idea of getting McDonagh made a lot of sense for the Oilers for that 4th overall pick, but then you start getting into, ‘Well, he wasn’t on an expiring contract, but he didn’t have that much time left and are you going to be able to sign him - American defenseman. Giving up a 4th overall pick.’
“So anyway, there were lots of balls in the air then and McDonagh to the Oilers was one of them that the Oilers were looking at.”
At the time of that draft, McDonagh had the final three seasons of his six-year, $28.2 million contract remaining with the Rangers, and the defenseman’s modified no-trade clause was set to kick in that July 1 of 2016.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired McDonagh before the 2018 trade deadline.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly