Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers have signed defenseman Andrew MacDonald to an extension. Dave Isaac reports it is for six years, $30 million.

My God.

MacDonald, who is 27, has played very well since being traded to the Flyers last month(!), and in typical Paul Holmgren fashion, he has been given a massive, potentially crippling, extension based on a very small sample size.

Signing MacDonald to an extension was the right move. Doing it for that much, however… gah.

Kevin Christmann of Broad Street Hockey put together what has to be the best breakdown that exists in the world on MacDonald… and it was just posted an hour ago. An excerpt:

From a defenseman’s perspective, it’s pretty simple. If you breakup the rush before it comes into your zone, that’s ideal. It’s hard to generate a shot or a scoring chance if you can’t get in the offensive zone. If you force your opponent to dump it in deep, they now have to go get it back, which may or may not happen. The worst case scenario is allowing them to carry the puck into the zone where they are free to take a shot.

What Eric found was that MacDonald was the worst on the team in all three areas among the regulars. He was targeted the most at 47.6%, he allowed carry-ins the most often at 78.1%, and he broke up the fewest rushes at 4.7% (Erik Gustafsson had a lower percentage, but in only 31 games).

If we compare that to Braydon Coburn, who was the best in all three categories, it’s quite a difference. Coburn had a target percentage of 21.1%, a carry-against percentage of 62.8%, and a break-up percentage of an impressive 11.7%.

This gets real heavy on advanced hockey analysis, but it’s steeped in actual observation rather than in metrics that mean little to the average fan. Real good read if you want to learn more about MacDonald.

UPDATE: Here is Inquirer Flyers beat writer Sam Carchidi’s detailed and nuanced take on the deal. Three full sentences.

UPDATE 2: Puck Daddy on why handing out a massive deal to a guy who blocks shots is a bad idea.