5 years ago

Ryan McDonagh has reportedly agreed to play for the KHL's HC Barys Astana during the NHL lockout.

The Rangers defenseman was planning to fly out to meet his new team, which plays in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, on Tuesday night. "The decision was tough but ultimately I wanted to put myself in a situation that would best prepare me to be playing at my best when the Rangers start up again," said McDonagh via an e-mail to the Daily News. "I love playing this game and this is a great opportunity for me to play and stay in game shape so I can ultimately be at my best to help the Rangers win. That's truly what my thought process was. (I) had some options earlier that just weren't the right timing for me. This opportunity came available and I didn't want to miss a chance to play hockey." He enjoyed a breakout year in 2011-12 with seven goals, 32 points, 118 hits, 182 blocked shots and a plus-25 rating in 82 games.