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Nashville Predators trade Ryan McDonagh back to Tampa Bay Lightning, receive two picks

The Nashville Predators are trading defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning, sending him back to the team they acquired him from in 2022.

The Predators will receive a seventh-round pick in 2024 and a second-round pick in 2025 in exchange for McDonagh and a fourth-round 2024 pick.

McDonagh is waiving his no-trade clause to be sent back to Tampa, where he won Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021. He has two more years left on his contract, with a cap hit of $6.75 million each year. He becomes a free agent in 2026.

For the Predators, the trade frees up nearly $7 million in cap room during the next two seasons. According to Cap Friendly, Nashville has more than $19 million in cap space for the 2024-25 season, but that includes McDonagh's cap hit. This move should give them more than $26 million to work with next season.

General manager Barry Trotz is likely to use that money to get younger at forward and add more size throughout the lineup.

The Predators have a number of options to fill McDonagh's spot. Spencer Stastney, who also plays on the left side, is the most likely option in the short run. The organization also has Tanner Molendyk and Ryan Ufko in the pipeline ready to make the leap to the NHL soon.

The fourth-round pick the Predators are sending to Tampa is the same pick they acquired from Edmonton in the Mattias Ekholm move last year.

The Predators have added to their litany of picks acquired from the Lightning the past two seasons. In addition to the picks in the McDonagh trade, they still have a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 first-round pick from the Tanner Jeannot trade in February 2023.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville Predators trade Ryan McDonagh back to Tampa Bay Lightning