The Deke Squad – Issue No. 4: Thomas Vanek’s Leaving, Andrew MacDonald, & Isles vs. USA

By Chris Triantafilis
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Feb 6, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald (47) clears the puck during the second period against the Calgary Flames at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew MacDonald turned down a 4 year/$16MM offer from the Isles. It’s apparent that he, too, is out the door. Should the Islanders be doing more to keep the defenseman? Did they do enough?

EB: I just feel like this is different from in the past. Previously, the Isles would sell because they were so far out of it, it didn’t matter. The Vanek situation is a unique thing. It’s not often that you know a player is going to leave or at least try Free Agency. He very well could be back. But the Isles need to make sure they get useful pieces for these players. What if they held onto Vanek? Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It’s February and they are 10 points out. It’s not over by a long shot. I’m not putting any nails in the coffin just yet. If they do feel the need to trade Vanek, let’s get something of real value. As for AMac? Eh. They need to get someone who is a great defender but can also handle the puck. MacDonald was a star in the making, but he really has shown very little this season.

CT: I actually think the Isles offered A-Mac a fair deal, all things considered. And I was also hoping he would sign that deal because, as we know, NHL defensemen are not easy to come by. Regardless of A-Mac’s struggles, the team needs defense. MacDonald’s void shouldn’t be an easy one to fill immediately; however, I don’t think the Isles should have given him a penny more than he was offered. He will be traded, as he should be, and the Isles should be able to get something of true value for him, especially since his cap hit will be extremely valuable to any team with salary constraints.

The next deal he signs, however……not too sure the team that signs him is going to be too pleased. Not for more than what the Isles are offering.

EB: Oh yes, but I do not want to see Radek Martinek anywhere near this team. He is a disaster.

RDR: A-Mac is worth the price tag he’s currently playing under, and with all the prospects awaiting their turn to suit up in the NHL, especially someone like Reinhart, there’s absolutely no reason to keep this topsy-turvy defender.

When comparing A-Mac to Mark Streit, only one had a saving grace and even then the Isles felt the need to let their former captain go to the Flyers, keeping A-Mac for his block shots and trusty man-to-man coverage alongside Travis Hamonic. But the fact is MacDonald has been nothing short of a disappointment this season.

Yes, he’s playing injured and clocking in ridiculous amounts of ice team, but overall, his gaffes have overshadowed any of the good or potential good he can bring to this team.

I don’t see the Isles losing much on any front by trading A-Mac, and quite honestly, trading him is a no-brainer if you’re Snow.

Calvin de Haan has proven that he’s got the goods, even if he needs time to develop, as all D-men do. Matt Donovan has picked up his play significantly since his last call up, and that’s nothing but good news for the club. And then with Mayfield, Pedan, Reinhart, and Pulock (who’s a few years away anyway) there’s no need to keep A-Mac. There truly isn’t any.

As Eric said: Martinek is gone, Carkner should go. And if Visnovsky is healthy and ready to play, you have to ask: where does Hickey sit? And for that matter, Donovan isn’t assured steady playing time if the vets, de Haan included, gel.

And then there’s the possibility of gaining a d-man in a Vanek trade.

Whatever the case, there’s no way or was there ever a doubt that A-Mac was leaving.