Wednesday, June 30, 2010

McDonagh Won't Make A Decision This Week

It's a big week for Badgers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. He's currently participating in the New York Rangers prospect camp along with former Badger Derek Stepan. It was widely suspected that McDonagh would make his decision on weather or not to sign a pro contract with the Rangers shortly after prospects camp, but it sounds like that's not the case.

According to Ranger Rants, a New York Rangers blog ran by Rangers beat writer Andrew Gross, "The big defenseman said he would not make a decision this week on whether he’ll return to college or sign a pro contract with the Rangers. McDonagh said he wants to take the time to get to know the people in the organization and see how comfortable he is with them, just as he figures the Rangers want to do with him. The pluses of returning to college, McDonagh said, is the chance to finish his degree and be the team’s captain."

If McDonagh would decide to stay, he would single handily be Wisconsin's biggest recruit this season. There wasn't a person on the planet who thought the Badgers would be able to keep McDonagh for four seasons. Hell, I thought he was gone after two. The longer and longer in the summer that the Arden Hill, MN native drags this out, the better and better chances of him staying in Madison for his senior season are.

With the CBA these days the way it is, entry level contracts are very straight forward. A player with the leverage of McDonagh, at his skill level is almost guaranteed to get a max contract. So the delay in him signing or not is certainly not based on negotiations over money.

So whats holding up his decision? For one, the NHL max contract for his draft year is $875,000. Thats a solid chunk of change. But if McDonagh isn't in the NHL next season, his salary max drops to $65,000. One of the biggest hold ups for McDonagh is that he wants to really analyze the situation with the Rangers and see where he fits in. Can you blame him? That's a significant money difference if he's in the NHL or in the AHL.

There is also the added fact that if McDonagh doesn't sign this summer, he can become a free agent next summer. What does that mean exactly? Next summer McDonagh will be able to pick and chose which NHL team he wants to sign with. The advantage with that, is that he can chose an organization that can guarantee him a spot in the NHL where he will be making the max contract all season. He can also chose an organization that is run properly, not one that is run by Glen Sather. In addition, no matter when he signs, this off-season or next, McDonagh's entry level contract will still run through 2013 either way. If he signs this off-season, at age 21, he is forced to sign a 3 year ELC. If he signs next year, at 22, he will be forced to sign a 2 year ELC. So either way his ELC will run through 2013.

I've been following the thoughts and postings of Ranger fans on the internet over the past couple of months to gauge their thoughts on McDonagh. I found a few gems that I'll share with you.

"It seems like McD believes he is the next Chris Pronger or something...."

"You obviously missed the part where he said he wanted a red carpet rolled out on 7th Ave for him while he rolls in on a popemobile and hot women fan him with giant leaves and feed him fruit."

"I don't see the point of professional athletes bothering with college... not like that "business" (or what ever BS easy) degree is going to do them any good."

"step up man. or go back to school like a girlie man and play ncaa hockey for another season.... why ? to get a degree ? gimme a break."

"Anybody who would choose going back for senior year to a crappy team over becoming a professional athlete is an idiot. Take classes in the summer and grow the hell up."

"A team scouted you, and had enough interest in you to trade away a part of the team to get you here, a snobby 21 year old kid without a drop of NHL experience should be happy to say THANK YOU and sign."

"Kid's def coming across like a bit of a ****** right now. Put pen to paper and get your ass in gear. The pro game's actually available to you... idiot."

"If McD doesn't sign this year, then he's an idiot. All I can say."

Man, can't imagine why a guy wouldn't want to sign with the Rangers with classy fans like that.

Photo by Melody Hasse