McCabe has 5 goals and 22 points for the Panthers this season, but he also missed time with a broken jaw. The 35-year-old has reached double digits in goals five times in his career and was second on the Panthers in both points and plus-minus (+3) among their defensemen.
He is in the final year of a five-year, $28.75 million contract and had to waive his no-trade clause for the deal to go through. He is set to make $4.15 million this season but carries a cap hit of $5.75 million.
The Rangers are currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but are within four points of fifth-place Washington after blasting the Capitals 6-0 at Verizon Center on Friday night. New York has a young but talented defense corps -- none of the other seven defensemen on the current roster are older than 27.
"Bryan McCabe adds an established veteran presence to our young defensive corps," Rangers General Manager Glen Sather said in a statement. "He can help provide offense with his strong shot on the power play and his versatility allows him to play either the left or ride side effectively. Bryan also brings outstanding leadership qualities having served as team captain for Florida for the past two seasons."
Kennedy had 12 goals and 42 points in 53 games for Hartford in the American Hockey League this season. The 24-year-old Buffalo native has played 79 games in the NHL -- all with his hometown Sabres. He had 10 goals and 26 points for Buffalo last season.
The Panthers have now traded away forward Cory Stillman and McCabe, and there have been plenty of reports about other veterans being available as general manager Dale Tallon attempts to reshape the franchise in his first season in charge.
Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.
— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals