UPDATE: The Flyers Have Signed Andrew MacDonald to a Six-Year, $30 Million Extension

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.

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43 Responses

  1. He’s a UFA after the season. I guess they think there will be a bidding war. Hilarious.

  2. But hey guys we’re in the playoffs again derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp.

    Fuck the Flyers.

  3. 4 pts in 19 games.

    He’s getting more than streit for a fraction of the production. There’s gotta be a NTC in there. That’s homer’s trademark.

  4. I think this is great. $5 mill for him isn’t quite a steal but he would get that much on the free agent market anyway. As for his stats, they don’t mean anything. He’s a defensive defenseman. He makes clean breakout passes and is great with the puck. He’s not a streit or timonen who will actually lead the rush and leave potential for an odd man rush on a turnover in the neutral zone. This is the type of guy the Flyers have been looking for

    1. His stats don’t mean anything? He’s a defensive defensemen? This is the type of guy the Flyers have been looking for? Dude, what the fuck are you even talking about? This has to be a sarcastic comment.

      1. This isn’t sarcasm. How many times have you seen Flyers dmen caught behind the net in the offensive zone, lose the puck, and a 3 on 2 breaks out with a forward and Grossmann on the back end trying to stop it? We now have a guy that will soon be in his prime, that understands how to stay at home on d. Defense has been the biggest issue aside from goaltending and now you’re complaining that they signed a solid defenseman? C’mon dude. The forwards are out there to score the goals, not the defense. It’s sad to see that defenseman are now being gauged on their offensive abilities

  5. What? Where is the stat that Homie relies on most? Grit. I’m sure he leads the team in Grit %. Right?

  6. Lets just laugh at the fact that the Flyers now have 5 (YES FIVE) defensemen in the top 30 of NHL defensemen salaries. My god. That’s not including the teams who swallowed Carle and Mezaros salary. Why the hell are we the only team doing this.

    1. No team swallowed Carle’s salary. He left as an unrestricted free agent when his contract can out. During his career here, he had a cap hit of $3.43M/year which was quite reasonable.

  7. He’s not here to score, he’s here to play defense. He would have gotten that easily on the open market, maybe more. Defensemen are at a premium in the NHL, and you have to pay up to keep them. He’s 27, he’s gonna play on the top line next year. He leads the league in blocked shots. 6 years is a little long, but other than that you can’t complain, just how the market is for D these days.

    1. Just because someone might pay that much for a player whose team is better when he isn’t on the ice then when he is doesn’t mean the Flyers needed to be the team that gave him that contract. It’s classic mismanagement. And leading the league in blocked shots is NOT something to brag about. There’s a reason people around the NHL are laughing at this deal – because it’s terrible.

      1. Since when is blocking shots a bad thing? Do you think the flyers were gonna get a weber or doughty through FA? Not a chance. If Andy Mac hit the market he would get 5 mil a year, at least. If you don’t think so you know nothing about how the NHL works. Everyone over pays for defense. Everyone around the league is laughing? Who are your sources. The length is the only issue.

        Kimmo is retiring, so we were just supposed to let Andy Mac walk and hope Gus and Ghost just step in a take over? Not a chance. He’s a good stay at home defensemen in his prime. He was gonna get more if he hit the open market. Open your eyes

  8. We’re probably losing Kimmo & Grossmannnnnnnnnn after this season, so what were they supposed to do?

    And does anyone really think that Coburn is a great defenseman?

    Our defense has played much better since the acquisition of MacDonald. Stats can say whatever they want to the contrary, but there is no denying that fact.

    Was he overpaid? Sure, but who isn’t these days? (Looking at you, Matt Carle.)

    1. Coburn is a MUCH better defenseman than MacDonald.

      I’m not saying MacDonald is terrible, and he’s helped Schenn tremendously. But he’s no Coburn.

      And this ties their hands when it comes to landing what they truly need- a real number 1 to replace Pronger. Now there’s that much less money to throw at that problem.

  9. Horrible and very strange for a guy that is unproven in the postseason. His career playoff stats…4GP, 0G, 0A, 0+/-, 4PIM

      1. Therefore, he has very little playoff experience…That doesn’t matter?

        1. I’m just saying that you can’t hold that sample size (4 GP) against the guy. Let’s give the guy a chance and see what he does in *this* playoffs.

          Heck, any d-man who helped to get THE ISLANDERS into the playoffs in the first place can’t be all bad. 😉

  10. Great signing! Solid defenseman, great in his own zone and makes Luke Schenn look like a hockey player.

    1. And that probably had a lot to do with it.

      As for the 6 years, by the end of that deal, $5-6 million/year isn’t going to look so bad. The proces just keep going up.

      He’ll be part of a good bridge to the Hagg/Morin/Ghost era.

  11. …I can’t understand how anyone could be upset with this deal. He’s a young defenseman (and even younger by defensive standards). He’s played only 19 games and has learned the system so quickly that he’s second on the team in average time on ice. There’s nothing but upside for this guy, and he’s only going to get better. With Kimmo likely gone next year, this guy is going to be a strong anchor for them. He’s much stronger than Meszaros, and if you want to use those jaded stats saying that he was “targeted the most”…that’s probably because he was on the ice the most….

    1. “and if you want to use those jaded stats saying that he was “targeted the most”…that’s probably because he was on the ice the most….”

      Yeah, if you read the paragraph you’d see it’s percentage of times targeted not total amount of times. Good try though.

  12. You people are unbelievable.

    McDonald is 27 and has Matt Carle type production. This isn’t a Bryz contract or a JVR trade. It’s a fair market contract for a healthy, shot blocking defenseman that has spent most of his career on a horribly put together team.

    Having guys like Streit, McDonald, Coburn, and Gus hold ship while Morin, Ghost, and Hagg gradually progress to the Pros will be huge.

  13. Typical Flyers fans on this one. Lets use Coburn’s stats, a guy who people have been trying to run out of town for years, to put down MacDonald. I clearly remember when Simmonds got his extension the same comments were made. The sample size was too small, he doesn’t score enough goals for that money, blah blah blah. Idiots. Free agents always sign for more than they are worth when they are essentially the best option available. Look up UFA defensemen. Do you want Dan Boyle, Gonchar, Mez, Pitkanen, Hainsey??? They are the best available this summer. So yeah i will take the 27 year old.

  14. he’s the right side of 30. thats good.

    the biggest problem is that they have nobody to bring up from the farm to take the place of older more expensive players. good teams always move younger, cheaper players up to the big squad so they dont get stuck with bad contracts. i doubt he would get 5 million a year in FA though. probably 3.5-4.

    1. Wow. 39 years since you got laid. Love those Blueshirt blue balls, son.

    2. Since coming into the league in 1967, the Flyers have two Cups and the Rangers have one. What’s your point?

  15. LOVE THIS SIGNING! He’s the only reason the Flyers even made the playoffs. Ya heard it here first…He will be the next captain of this team. He is a true leader unlike Claude.

  16. I will defer to the hardcore hockey guys on this, is this contract:

    A) Good Signing for both sides
    B) Solid player but should have done 4 years at $20 million
    C) Total disaster, this guy is a run of the mill defenseman and is replaceable

    1. I’m going with Ed Snider makes his younger wife wear a Bernie Parent mask when she nails him with a strap-on.

  17. Most GMs would pay $3M a year for up to 4 years, but we have Homer Claus running the circus.

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