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Lightning reacquire McDonagh from Predators for 2 draft picks

John Russell / National Hockey League / Getty

The Nashville Predators traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh and a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2025 second-rounder and a 2024 seventh-round pick, the teams announced Tuesday.

The veteran blue-liner played five seasons with the Lightning from 2017-22. He won two Stanley Cups with Tampa Bay.

"A lot of emotions, but, in the end, you are obviously really excited for what lies ahead. ... You look forward to starting the process again with Tampa," McDonagh said, according to Bally Sports Florida's Gabby Shirley.

Predators general manager Barry Trotz said McDonagh requested the team explore trading him back to Tampa Bay, according to's Adam Kimelman.

McDonagh, who turns 35 in June, tallied 32 points in 74 games last season with Nashville. He played 21:47 per night and has averaged over 20 minutes every season since his rookie campaign in 2010-11.

McDonagh ranked second on the Predators with 139 blocked shots. His 4.6 goals above replacement was third among Nashville defenders, behind Roman Josi and Alexandre Carrier, according to Evolving-Hockey.

The Minnesota native is under contract for two more seasons at a cap hit of $6.75 million and has a full no-trade clause. McDonagh signed the contract in 2018 when he was with Tampa Bay.

"This trade adds to our already deep corps of draft picks over the next two drafts and allows us to continue to make tweaks and improvements to our team during the offseason," Trotz said in a statement. "We want to make decisions that help us build on the success we had in the 2023-24 season by giving us as many weapons as we can get, whether it's younger players on our roster, more impactful draft choices, or salary-cap flexibility."

Nashville owns 12 draft picks in the first three rounds over the next two drafts after the trade.

The Lightning sent McDonagh to the Predators in July 2022 for defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash.

Tampa Bay has six NHL defensemen under contract for next season with the reacquisition of McDonagh. The Lightning have $5 million of cap space after the trade, according to CapFriendly. Pending unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos remains without a contract for next season.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said the team still has "some cap space" and talks with Stamkos are "ongoing," according to team reporter Chris Krenn.

Nashville now has $26 million in projected cap space, according to CapFriendly, with no significant free agents to re-sign.

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