Rangers sign Connor Mackey to 2-year contract ahead of trade deadline

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

With the NHL trade deadline a week away on March 8, the New York Rangers made a move Friday. But it didn’t involve a new acquisition nor dealing anyone away.

The Rangers signed Connor Mackey to a two-year contract. The 27-year-old defenseman, who’s playing with Hartford of the American Hockey League, could have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Mackey is the second player to sign a two-year deal with the Blueshirts recently. The Rangers rewarded center Jonny Brodzinski with a new contract Feb. 21.

Related: New York Rangers trade tiers 1 week before March 8 deadline

Connor Mackey has been solid depth defenseman in Rangers organization, gets 2-year contract

NHL: New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

In 36 games with the Wolf Pack this season, Mackey has 11 points (two goals, 11 assists) and is a team-best plus-13. He’s also third on the team with 62 penalty minutes.

Mackey played exceptionally well in one game with the Rangers this season. In a 7-2 win against the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 27, Mackey had a team-high three blocked shots, a big hit against Tim Stutzle and was plus-one in 16:27 of ice time. He also had a rousing fight with Senators forward Brady Tkachuk.

In 40 NHL games with the Rangers, Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames, Mackey has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and 75 PIM.

As for the trade front, rumors are flying but things remain quiet for the Rangers. They remain interested in adding a right wing to play on the top line and possibly a third-line center and/or depth defenseman.

Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek was in the press box at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday when the Rangers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets. That fueled rumors he was scouting the Rangers for a possible trade that could bring forward Frank Vatrano or center Adam Henrique (or both) to Broadway.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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