McQuaid goes to Columbus

In a deal that was just completed, the Rangers sent defenseman Adam McQuaid to Columbus in exchange for a fourth and seventh round pick. Update: Julius Bergman is also part of the trade. A 23-year old right defenseman, who’s never played in the NHL. So, the Rangers get him as well.

Now, the gritty McQuaid will go try to help coach John Tortorella get the Blue Jackets into the postseason and past the first round. A place they’ve never been before.

An experienced high character players who signed a one-year deal with the Blueshirts, the 32-year old former Stanley Cup champion who helped Boston win it all in 2011, was a good team guy on Broadway. Even after missing time due to an injury, McQuaid got into 36 games and produced two goals and three assists with 33 penalty minutes.

He was a calm influence on Brady Skjei, who previously struggled through a tough first half. Once David Quinn paired them together, McQuaid helped Skjei settle down and play his game. Since then, his confidence has grown. It’s not a coincidence that he started to jump into the rush more and finally got off the schneid with three goals in two games this weekend without his former D partner.

What is admirable about McQuaid is he makes guys accountable. The experienced vet is always willing to stick up for teammates. That should be a good fit in Columbus. Especially for a team that’s decided to go all in despite the potential for free agents Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky to leave this summer. They also traded for star center Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel. All for the chance to make the kind of run their franchise has never had. It’s worth the risk for playoff starved fans.

As for the Rangers, they got what they could for McQuaid, who also can hit the market in July. Of course, I would’ve preferred a third round pick. But a four and seven is acceptable.

They may not be done. Toronto remains interested in Chris Kreider. It would have to be overwhelming for Jeff Gorton to deal his best power forward. They also are getting calls already on Brendan Lemieux due to the gritty style he plays. The only way I move him is if it’s a legit prospect. Otherwise, no dice.

Fredrik Claesson is also a candidate to go. He also is unrestricted this summer. I guess we’ll see what the final chaotic hour brings. Where do Mark Stone and Wayne Simmonds wind up? Do the Islanders make a move?

Oh. And here is my tweet from two weeks ago.

Occasionally, I get one right. Even a blind squirrel does. 😂

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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