The New York Rangers finally acquired a defenseman who can help run their power play this afternoon, as Glen Sather acquired Bryan McCabe from the Florida Panthers in exchange for the team’s third round pick and prospect Tim Kennedy.
McCabe is in the final year of what was once a highly criticized contract during his days with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The offensive blueliner’s annual cap hit is $5.75 million, with about $1.32 million left during the remainder of this season. He scored five goals and 17 assists for 22 points in 48 games in 2010-11 and produced 43 and 39-point campaigns in the last two seasons.
While McCabe can be a little bit lax in his own end (bad turnovers and rough penalties), he brings a heavy shot and the ability to deliver some serious hits to the table. If handled properly, he could be a nice (if risky) addition to the Rangers defense. (Then again, they moved even riskier defenseman Michael Del Zotto down to the AHL to make room for McCabe, so they might benefit in their own end ever so slightly too.)
From Florida’s perspective, the biggest gain is at the bank, but they get a halfway decent draft pick and an OK prospect out of the deal. Kennedy is skilled, but his size will probably always be an issue at the NHL level. While Tomas Kaberle is a cheaper, more talented addition than McCabe, the Panthers were probably hoping to earn a haul closer to the one the Toronto Maple Leafs received. In fact, they should be a little disappointed in their side of the exchange.
Still, it’s obvious that McCabe wasn’t going to be a part of new GM Dale Tallon’s rebuilding process, so the team at least got something for their trouble. It looks like both teams will benefit from the swap, even if both sides were probably hoping for more.