Larry Brooks writes that Ryan McDonagh is the "greatest offensive weapon" the Rangers have had on defense since Brian Leetch and that his strong play is another reason for the team to move Keith Yandle.
Brooks writes that if Yandle's status as a UFA isn't enough of a reason to move him, the increase in production from McDonagh "adds another layer of protection against such a trade." (NY Post)
He says that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has "no choice" but to replenish the organization with assets and "cannot afford to allow" Yandle to walk as a free agent. (NY Post)
Brooks says that moving Yandle would not indicate that the Rangers are sellers or that management has lost faith in the season. (NY Post)
Yandle has 3 goals and 24 assists this season, with 8 PP points, and McDonagh has 7 goals and 19 assists with 9 PP points.
Adam Rotter: It certainly helps the Rangers, in every possible way, that Ryan McDonagh is playing at an All-Star level again and showing how important he is. When he is going he is the Rangers best and most important skater.
When it comes to Yandle it depends on how you look at him. You can look at him as Keith Yandle, a former All-Star with the potential to be an elite offensive defenseman who can do things with the puck that no other Ranger defenseman can. Or you can look at him as the Rangers third-pair left defenseman. It certainly doesn't hurt to have Keith Yandle on your team, as long as he is making high percentage plays, but he isn't going to be back and can likely fetch a couple of pieces who might be able to help the Rangers down the line. The Rangers are a win-now team so it seems counter-intuitive to move Yandle, but if they think that someone else can play his minutes and Ryan McDonagh/Dan Boyle can work the PP, it might be worth it to move him.