Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers shoots the puck in the...

Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers shoots the puck in the third period against the Bruins at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 7, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

With the 2018 NHL trade deadline approaching, the Rangers could be involved in the frenzy. Here are five of the team’s best deals over the years.

2009: Rangers trade Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Mike Busto to the Montreal Canadiens for Ryan McDonagh, Chris Higgins, Pavel Valentenko and Doug Janik.

This one almost seems unfair. The two big players traded in this deal were Scott Gomez and Ryan McDonagh. In two years with Montreal, Gomez totaled 21 goals. Not only did the Rangers unload the remaining $30 million in Gomez’s contract for five years, but they also landed a future Norris Trophy candidate in 2014, and a top defenseman for years to come.

1991: Rangers trade Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice, David Shaw, and Louie DeBrusk to the Edmonton Oilers for Mark Messier.

Messier was a five-time Stanley Cup champion with the Edmonton Oilers but requested a trade after the Oilers let defenseman Adam Graves sign with the Rangers. During his tenure with the Rangers, Messier guided them to a Stanley Cup victory in 1994. He had 691 points in 698 games on Broadway, and is one of the greatest players in Rangers history.

2013: Rangers trade Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore and a 2014 sixth-round pick.

Gaborik was one of the rare pure goal-scorers the Rangers had in the past few years, but issues with former head coach John Tortorella made him the odd man out. In four years with the Blueshirts, Gaborik scored an impressive 114 goals. He lasted two seasons in Columbus and played just 34 games. Meanwhile, Brassard, Moore and Dorsett were all key contributors in the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup final in 2014.

1994: Rangers trade Tony Amonte and the rights to Matt Oates for Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan.

The Rangers already were one of the best teams in the NHL, but the deal that sparked the historic Stanley Cup win was the trade for Stephane Matteau. Matteau had good size and was coveted by coach Mike Keenan. In three seasons with the Rangers, Matteau scored just 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points. But, his goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in overtime is the only one most people remember. It sent the Rangers to the finals, where they would go on to beat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games, and gave us the famous “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” call from broadcaster Howie Rose.

2014: Rangers trade captain Ryan Callahan and two first round draft picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis.

The Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning swapped captains at the deadline. With both teams in contention, the Rangers were able to grab the veteran winger who posted 15 points in 25 playoff games, propelling them to the Stanley Cup finals.

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