Flyers’ General Manager Paul Holmgren knows his time may be running short. The hourglass of his career has been tipped over, with the presence of former Flyer Ron Hextall supplying the gravitational pull. Aware that his team is on a nice run, Holmgren knows now is the time to add, and perpetuate their form into the 2014 NHL Playoffs.
On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers announced the acquisition of New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. New York receives a 2014 third-round pick, a 2015 second-round pick, and prospective forward Matt Mangene. MacDonald, whose contract expires at the end of the season, will likely seek a large boost in salary from his $550,000.
In the present, however, the Flyers earn a defenseman who is crafty with the puck, and can block shots at will. At 6 ft. 1 in and 190 lbs, MacDonald can clearly move on the ice. The left-handed defenseman does carry the dark cloud of a minus-19 ratio for the season.
At age 27, MacDonald is clearly having the best year of his career, totaling 24 points through two-thirds of the season. The former Islander could serve on the power play should Kimmo Timonen or Mark Streit were to go down.
MacDonald will provide depth and speed on defense for the Flyers. He can easily serve as the third defenseman behind Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit. Additionally, MacDonald served as an assistant captain on Long Island, and will provide leadership to a much-improved locker room culture.
Paul Holmgren is likely preparing for another such move Wednesday, before the 3 PM deadline passes. The general manager is hot under the collar, and hopefuly this brings out the best in his scouting and negotiating abilities.
UPDATE: The Flyers have sent defenseman Andrej Meszaros to Boston for a third-round pick. Essentially, they have upgraded from Meszaros to MacDonald for the price of a 2015 second-round pick.