New York Rangers send enforcer Cody McLeod to Nashville

Cody McLeod, New York Rangers. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Cody McLeod, New York Rangers. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Wednesday afternoon the New York Rangers sent some muscle to Music City. They traded Cody McLeod to the Preds.

New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton dropped the opening puck on trade deadline season. He sent enforcer Cody McLeod to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round pick in the NHL entry draft.

In the long run, the Blueshirts have made out well with McLeod. They claimed him off waivers from the Predators on January 25, 2018; held on to him for a year, and sent him back to the same team for a draft pick. That’s a win, albeit a minor one.

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In the interim, the Rangers got some quality usage out of the 12 year NHL veteran. He played in 56 games for NYR over the last 54 weeks. McLeod racked up 99 penalty minutes and dished out 172 hits while doing the job of protecting his teammates on the ice. The goal and pair of assists he tallied were just icing on the cake.

A rebuilding team like the New York Rangers need as many draft picks as they can get. This trade is likely the first of many for the Blueshirts front office in what will be a busy 19 days leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline on February 25th. Other veteran players are on the trade block.

Among the NYR names making their way around the rumor mill are pending unrestricted free agents Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes. The Rangers would also love to move on from the two years remaining on the contracts of defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk ($6.65M per season) and Marc Staal ($5.7M per season). Trading those two big contracts will be much more difficult.

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McLeod wasn’t the only player Nashville acquired from a Metropolitan Division team. Wednesday morning, they send their 2019 second-round draft pick to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for former Rangers center Brian Boyle.