Friedman said that he believes the Capitals checked in on McDonagh, Toronto never really got "close" to a potential McDonagh trade but that the Rangers, Panthers and Wild were working on a potential three-team trade that would have put McDonagh with the Panthers. (Sportsnet)
Larry Brooks wrote last week that while Penguins GM Jim Rutherford was "persistent" in his quest to get McDonagh, the Penguins never put out an offer to the Rangers that was "worth consideration." (NY Post)
Brooks says that the Capitals wanted McDonagh but they couldn't find a third team to make a trade work and that the Panthers "couldn't/wouldn't make a tempting offer."
He also says that had Tampa Bay not added Libor Hajek to their proposal, McDonagh would still be with the Rangers right now. (NY Post)
On why the Rangers went with the offer from Tampa Bay, Jeff Gorton said at the time "It hit on a lot of things that we wanted to accomplish, acquiring some picks, some high picks, getting some young players that we have really liked for a while. The ability to get Howden and Hajak and Namestnikov is a player that we have liked for a while. It hit on a lot of things that we wanted to do as we move forward is probably the best answer."
Adam Rotter: The Rangers had two options for a McDonagh trade. They could have held onto him until the draft and likely made more of a "hockey trade" for a young player who could step right into the Rangers lineup. Instead they went down the road of getting five assets and getting a big haul from a team looking to get over the top. Neither the Penguins nor Capitals have the prospects that Tampa did and it's likely the Rangers would have asked for even more to send him in the division. What's done is done though and the Rangers now have a young center playing right now, two potential NHLers and then a first round pick and either a second round pick or another first round pick if Tampa is able to hoist the cup.