The New York Rangers took a big step towards securing their future on Monday as they signed defenseman Ryan McDonagh, one of their brightest young stars, to a six year contract extension worth a reported $28.2 million.
The extension makes McDonagh the fourth highest-paid player on the Rangers behind Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist and Brad Richards.
The extension is a bit outside of the Rangers normal operating procedure with players coming off entry-level deals. In the past, the Rangers have been more inclined to sign such players to modest two-year “bridge” deals, however, the Rangers were willing to make an exception for the 24-year-old McDonagh, who has emerged as a special talent on their back end.
Since being traded to New York from Montreal in 2009, McDonagh has turned into a leader for the Blue Shirts, taking on a crucial role in the absence of Marc Staal, who has been bothered by injuries for the past two seasons.
McDonagh, a St. Paul, Minnesota, native finished the season with four goals and 19 points in 47 games for the Rangers, while logging an average of 24:21 in ice time per game, which was second only to Girardi’s 25:24 per game.