Andrew MacDonald: An Islander Going Forward?

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

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

Topics: New York Islanders

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  • Toby Smith

    Great write-up on an interesting possible decision. A-Mac needs to be signed for the future. He was tied for third in blocked shots last season, only 2 behind leader.

    Let’s say half the prospects pan out, that’s generous, still need to fill in at least one pair over the next 5 years for depth. Hea better than Strait, Hickey, and Carkner. Isles need to take Red Wings approach. Let these D develop properly and marinate.

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  • Kevin McCarthy

    I’m really surprised at how some people are somehow as yet convinced of A-Mac’s quality. I suppose it is really that people are looking for much bigger offensive contribution, but let’s not forget that above all last year the Isles had to STOP THE BLEEDING. A no-nonsense defender like A-Mac is just what the doctor ordered. He is a world class skater who, while not a giant, utilizes his intelligence, good hands and elasticity to play very sound defensive hockey. His buildup play out of the d-zone is that of a 10 year veteran, with very aggressive passing into the far end of the neutral zone and almost never a giveaway. His play in the corners is always tidy and efficient, doing the simple thing needed so that he and Hamonic can clear the zone. I won’t even bother to mention the obvious contribution of shot-blocking..

    Whle he only had a few goals last year, they were screaming, highlight reel slapshots. Surely more of this to come now that this team has turned a corner.
    It was clear that losing A-Mac was a big blow in game 5. Hamonic was clear in post series interviews about how big a hole A-Mac’s absence from the grueling work of shutdown d-man. If the Hammer is sold, how can we all not be?

    • Andy Graziano

      I agree Kevin and personally think, along with you and Toby, that he should remain. But Pete brings up an interesting point about the system being stocked with young talent that, in a couple of years or even sooner, is going to be ready to play in the NHL. And there has to be roster spots for them. Even assuming Hickey and Strait go, we have way more than two capable D-men that are going to look to play some quality minutes.

    • Peter McEntee

      Believe me, I am an Andrew MacDonald fan. This was a tough call for me. I love his style, and the lack of offense doesn’t bother me, it’s just the prospects coming up will be given a spot over MacDonald. Simple as that. No way these prospects won’t be seeing time in the near future given all the effort Garth went through to get them. All these guys coming up take all the d-spots except the seventh guy, and I wouldn’t pay MacDonald the money he’s going to want to be an extra. He deserves good money, and he’ll take it from another team.

  • jeff wall

    “Both Reinhart and Mayfield are ready to take the job”. The notion that these two guys are ready to take the job is untrue. Reinhart will most certainly be back in Edmonton this year and will then still need some AHL time to next season to make the transition to pro. Mayfield is even further away. He showed nothing in the few games in BP last year and will need a full season without doubt. I think snow will try to sign him to a 3-4 year contract but not as a 2-3 but as a 4-6 because that is where his future on this team is. Dont forget Amac has played 4 seasons for 500K, a bargain! Snow should keep this in mind

  • Rob McEntire

    Great Write up. I do think there are many good points raised here. However, this franchise is finally making money and too many changes may get some fans all in an up-roar. I say it happens but not as fast as some speculate. GREAT WRITE UP

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