While spending my first day of vacation today with a goddaughter and her parents at a re-enactment of the Fourth of July at Washington Irving's estate in 1855 (no time machine necessary; and yes, I booed the temperance speeches), Newsday colleague Arthur Staple and the Post wrote/tweeted that sources said the Wisconsin senior has made the decision to turn pro.

                 Had a feeling this was imminent (and probably so did you, readers), judging by the conversation that both the Record's Andrew Gross and myself had with the defenseman on Friday, at the end of prospect camp.  (Check back on Blue Notes and Andrew's blog and twitter).

                 During that chat, McDonagh said he had been leaning one way prior to camp and that he enjoyed the experience, the coaches and players, was going to discuss the issue with his mom and college coach and decide this week. 

                There really won't be any financial wrangling except a bonus; entry-level money for three years is $875,000, I'm told.  When details are finalized, McDonagh is expected to play in the annual Traverse City Tournament against other NHL prospects and skate in training camp.

                McDonagh fared well at prospects camp, paired most of the time with No.1 pick Dylan McIlrath. Fellow Badger Derek Stepan agreed to turn pro weeks ago and his contract was announced Thursday, when it was registered with the NHL.






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