The Philadelphia Flyers have made their first key move before tomorrow’s trade deadline, dealing a 2014 3rd-round pick, a 2015 2nd-round pick, and Phantoms forward Matt Mangene to the New York Islanders for defenseman Andrew MacDonald.
For a team looking desperately for an mobile, puck-moving blue-liner, this wasn’t too bad a move considering his relatively low cap number. The Hockey News describes MacDonald’s game: “Moves the puck out of the defensive zone efficiently. Is a poised defender with a good hockey brain who can log an awful lot of ice time. Smart and technically strong, he also has some offensive ability.”
MacDonald leads the NHL in shots blocked, with 198. He also logs 25:25 per night, more than any of the Flyers current defenseman. When you take into account that he’s mobile, a solid puck-mover, gets in front of the puck, and can eat up minutes, this move looks like one that will help the Flyers make a stronger push come playoff time.
People will point to his low +/- and Corsi numbers as of late, but MacDonald was put under a lot of pressure to carry the weight of the blue line in New York, and he’s a guy who will blossom with a change of scenery. This is a solid, solid move by Paul Holmgren.