Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 10/9/12
New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh has become the third Blueshirt to sign overseas during the current NHL lockout, inking a deal with HC Barys Astana of the KHL. McDonagh follows in the footsteps of teammates Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin, who made the jump from North America several weeks ago. McDonagh actually held out for quite a while, turning down two previous offers to play in the KHL prior to the one he accepted with HC Barys, but finally caved in as the need to get involved in game action increased. “The decision was tough but ultimately I wanted to put myself in a situation that would best prepare me to be playing at my best when the Rangers start up again,” McDonagh told the Daily News. “I love playing this game and this is a great opportunity for me to play and stay in game shape so I can ultimately be at my best to help the Rangers win. “That’s truly what my thought process was. (I) had some options earlier that just weren’t the right timing for me. This opportunity came available and I didn’t want to miss a chance to play hockey.” Something tells me that McDonagh will not be the last Ranger to make such decision. With a majority of October's schedule already cancelled, it will only be a matter of time before games extending into the month of November are wiped out as well. At that point, there's little point in continuing to hold private practice or training sessions when the better option would be to actually play in another competitive league. The scary thing about this is that Nash, Hagelin and McDonagh are three of the Rangers' most talented players. While you want them actively playing the game, the risk of injury definitely raises some concern (see Rick Nash shoulder bruise scare). And imagine if goaltender Henrik Lundqvist eventually elects to play in Sweden - the injury scare amps up big time. Hopefully these decisions work out for the better and not the worse. In NHL CBA news, the two sides will be meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in New York City, but on a non-economic basis. In other words, no significant progress will be made. I hate to be the downer here, but it's becoming more and more likely that we're losing the entire 2012-13 season.
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