New York Rangers: Making sense of the decision to trade Brady Skjei

Brady Skjei, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New York Rangers
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers closed out the 2020 NHL Deadline Day with fewer trades than anticipated. But, the one deal they made sent Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes. It also left behind a trail of mixed feelings.

It was Brady Skjei‘s time. Given the trajectory of these last couple years, Blueshirts Nation was well equipped to endure whatever curveballs the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline would present for the New York Rangers. The team has ripped off some pretty sticky band-aids with extra adhesive, in that time. By that, I mean bidding farewells to fan favorites such as Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, etc.

I learned my lesson in feeling any incredulity to both unexpected and expected deals at the hands of Jeff Gorton in February. This year, whatever happens, happens. If the front office wants to have a third consecutive sell-off despite the healthy chemistry and sitting within spitting distance of a playoff spot, so be it.

However, this year brought an unforeseen silence heading into decision day. Obviously, all eyes were on Chris Kreider, arguably the best forward on the market, as the rumors swirled he picked up talks with the New York Rangers. It became an annoying guessing game of “will they won’t they,” or will he or won’t he.” It was an exhausting effort for both sides to come to terms and Rangers fans certainly rejoice in the result, a seven-year $45.5M contract extension.

After the news leaked, I figured any big moves following this would be unlikely. We knew the goalies were staying put considering the news of Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich‘s alarming car accident. Tony DeAngelo’s likelihood of shipping out became less of a reality over the past few weeks. I guessed the only player left on the block would be Jesper Fast given his pending free agency status, but there was radio silence on that news end.