The hard-shooting McCabe, who waived his no-trade clause to allow the deal, joins his sixth NHL team since being drafted by the New York Islanders in the second round (40th overall) of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.
The native of St. Catharines, Ont., spent nearly two seasons on Long Island before being part of a trade that saw himself, Todd Bertuzzi and a third-round selection (Jarkko Ruutu) off to the Canucks for Trevor Linden.
McCabe went on to play for the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs before joining the Panthers on Sept. 2, 2008.
In 1,116 career NHL games, McCabe has 143 goals, 379 assists and has a plus-36 rating.
"Bryan McCabe adds an established veteran presence to our young defensive corps," said Rangers general manager Glen Sather in a statement. "He can help provide offence with his strong shot on the power play, and his versatility allows him to play either the left or right side effectively."
Kennedy, 24, has spent the entire year with the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford. With the Buffalo Sabres in 2009-10, Kennedy was a minus-3 with 10 goals and 16 assists in 78 games.
McCabe is earning $5,750,000 this season and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Rangers cleared a spot on the roster for McCabe by sending defenceman Michael Del Zotto to Connecticut of the AHL.