May 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald (47) moves the puck under pressure from Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Pascal Dupuis (9) during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew MacDonald: An Islander Going Forward?

Over the last few years, Islander fans have come to love the name Andrew MacDonald– a lovable player that puts in his all, be it blocking shots, or providing locker room presence.  And his partnership with Travis Hamonic have provided their team with sturdy and courageous defensive play, something this organization hopes to continue engendering.

MacDonald signed a four-year contract in 2010, and the notion of a new deal in the works is not necessarily a solidified reality.

As we all know, the Islanders have tremendous defensive talent in the works. For with names like Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Matt Donovan, and Calvin de Haan, the  MacDonald will be most certainly have his work cut out for him to maintain the current top defensive spot, and sustain the talent barging in to take it from him.

So, all the aforementioned begs the question: is giving Andrew MacDonald a new contract the proper move if you are Garth Snow? Is MacDonald worth more as a trading chip?

Islanders fans have conflicting feelings about Andrew MacDonald. Just look at what some of our fans said via twitter.

In this corner, weighing three tweets strong, we have the MacDonald doubters,

And here, we have the MacDonald supporters (and the indifferent),

Clearly, a lot of different views among Islanders fans–as to be expected, of course.

But in all likelihood Andrew MacDonald will not be given a new contract extension. This young, burgeoning talent may very well ask for upwards of 2.5-3 million dollars per year (and rightfully so). However, with such tremendous talent at the blue line coming in the near future for the Islanders, signing MacDonald will not make sense.

As one of the aforementioned tweets stated, MacDonald is a placeholder. Expect Griffin Reinhart or Scott Mayfield in MacDonald’s position come the Barclays, in all honesty.

Both Reinhart and Mayfield are ready to take the job, and other defensive prospects such as Matt Donovan, Calvin de Haan, and Ville Pokka should be taking bottom six positions in the next few years, which removes the need of Andrew MacDonald. The Islanders already have an experienced defenseman who can mentor the new kids in Travis Hamonic, a seasoned, young, gritty player who is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Time for the Islanders to look toward goaltending and/or forwards, because if it all works out according to plan, the defense is all but built.

What do you guys think on the situation?

-Peter @pjmcentee

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