J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning shocked the hockey world with the Ryan McDonagh Trade. Now they face off for the first time since. 

The New York Rangers made it known that they would be sellers this year, but the trade of Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller was still tough to stomach, even for the players.

Ten days after that blockbuster trade, the two teams faceoff for the first time since November when Miller, ironically, scored the overtime winner. It will be the first time that Miller faces off against the team that drafted him 15th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. McDonagh remains out with an injury he suffered while in New York.

Prior to the action on the ice, Miller and McDonagh reflected on the day of the trade and their time in New York with the New York Daily NewsJustin Tasch.

“When I was named captain there, I felt like I was gonna spend my whole career there like a lot of guys do that come up in the system,” McDonagh told Tasch. But McDonagh did acknowledge that there comes a point in time where you have to move on.

It was no secret that the Rangers were interested in trading McDonagh. He was under contract until the end of the 2018-19 season at a reasonable cap hit. Of all the players the Rangers traded, McDonagh would bring back the more valuable assets, and he did.

“Obviously I wasn’t shocked or ambushed, so to speak. But certainly when it finally does go through, a lot of emotions obviously, remembering all the seasons and players you played with and what it meant to put on that jersey and stuff”

For Miller, the trade came as more of a surprise. He acknowledged that he had heard the rumors revolving his name and a potential deal, but he never really believed it. Miller went about his day just like any other travel day. He boarded the Rangers plane to Vancouver and thought that he would remain with the team until he got the news.

Miller told Tasch that, “When it happened on the plane, nobody on the plane could believe it.” In his four games with Tampa, Miller has scored five points including goals in back-to-back games.

Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.