Well, after Christian Ehrhoff's rights were traded to the New York Islanders yesterday, it seemed that the top remaining defenseman on the market were James Wisniewski, Tomas Kaberle, and Ed Jovanovski. You can now scratch one of those off the list.
The Montreal Canadiens have traded Wisniewski's rights to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional 7th round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. If the Jackets complete the signing, two things immediately come to mind. One, the Blue Jackets are bringing serious hockey to Ohio after their recent trade to secure Jeff Carter from Philadelphia. Two, the defenseman who will still be available via free agency are becoming slimmer in quality and quantity. Although the Rangers have a solid defensive corps, a veteran presence would not hurt especially in the event of a rookie not living up to expectations (i.e. Erixon) or the failure of another defenseman (i.e. Sauer, McDonagh) after a good year. This is not impossible, as we all saw what happened with Michael Del Zotto, as well as Matt Gilroy to a lesser extent.