The New York Rangers have added some help on the blue line, acquiring Adam McQuaid from the Boston Bruins. The Bruins in return will receive a 2019 fourth-round pick, conditional seventh-round pick and Steven Kampfer.
In Boston there had been a log jam on defense since John Moore was signed this summer, with eight healthy NHL defensemen on the roster. The idea of sitting at least $4MM in cap space every night never seemed appealing, and by moving out McQuaid they’ve added some flexibility for the rest of the season. That doesn’t mean the move is risk free though, as we’ve seen several of the Bruins defenders deal with injury in the past and as Stanley Cup contenders they’ll need all the depth they can take. McQuaid, though not exactly an offensive dynamo, was a warrior on the ice who could bring an incredibly physical game and be counted on to stand up for his teammates. He was also incredibly well-liked among the fan base, though it was obvious he didn’t have a full-time role going forward.
For the Rangers, the team adds a respected veteran presence to the blue line to help what will be an incredibly young club over the next few seasons. McQuaid is under contract for just this season at a $2.75MM cap hit, but it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see the Rangers re-sign him to a short-term deal before the end of the year. New York is in a clear rebuild mode, though after acquiring several impressive trade packages last year could turn things around in short order.
McQuaid is now 31 and played just 38 games last season as he dealt with a broken leg early in the season. His career-high in points, 15, is almost a decade behind him and likely out of reach moving forward. Losing his presence in Boston won’t change their outlook for the season, but he also didn’t come at much of a cost for the Rangers. Kampfer, who will return to the Boston organization that signed him as a college free agent after four years at the University of Michigan, doesn’t have a ton of NHL upside and will likely spend the season in the minor leagues. He could be depth if the Bruins find themselves dealing with multiple injuries, but there are other younger defensemen in the organization that he’ll need to battle for that right.