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Report: Isles’ MacDonald on block after rejecting four-year, $16M deal

Feb 6, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

Andrew MacDonald #47 of the New York Islanders carries the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2013 in Uniondale, New York.
(October 7, 2013 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Another day, another Islander rejecting a lucrative contract offer.

On Thursday, the New York Post reported defenseman Andrew MacDonald turned down the Isles’ four-year, $16 million offer, adding that the rejection has led to New York fielding offers for the 27-year-old rearguard.

The news comes in the same week pending UFA forward Tomas Vanek turned down a “substantial” offer from the Isles.

Here’s more on MacDonald, from the Post:

MacDonald and his agent had previously asked for a four- or five-year deal at $5 million per, and even got the Islanders to come up from their original starting price of $3.5 million per.

In turning down the offer, the pending unrestricted free agent has left himself as one of the league’s most highly coveted trade pieces, before both Friday’s 3 p.m. Olympic roster freeze and before the March 5 trade deadline.

A league source said general manager Garth Snow already has received at least one substantial trade offer, and has turned it down.

MacDonald is currently one of the NHL’s best bargains — in the final of a four-year, $2.2 million deal, a $550,000 cap hit — and leads all Isles defensemen in assists (20), points (24), time on ice per game (26:40) and blocked shots (185).  He’s also been one of the club’s most durable players over the last three years and serves as an alternate captain.

One would think such production would be impossible for the Isles to lose, but it’s not that simple.

New York isn’t a spend-to-the-cap team, currently operating under the NHL’s second-lowest payroll, and the team’s history of retaining UFA blueliners doesn’t shed much insight — last year they re-upped with Lubomir Visnovsky, but cut ties with Mark Streit.

What’s more, the club has a slew of young defensemen — Travis Hamonic, Aaron Ness, Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan — and some really talented blueliners on the way in Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield, Ville Pokka and Adam Pelech.

(The Isles, lest we forget, drafted seven defensemen in 2012.)

From McDonald’s perspective, he wields a pretty big stick. The prospect of a 27-year-old UFA defenseman with his resume hitting the open market is tantalizing, especially in a year where the cap will rise (to a projected $71.1 million.)

He could also be shipped at the deadline to a contender, where he’d have the chance to perhaps garner a bigger profile and play in the postseason.

  1. storminator16 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    He’ll definitely get more than that elsewhere. I don’t feel sorry for the Islanders and they have some nice trading chips. Snow might be able to pull off quite a decent reload.

    • killerpgh - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Just to play devils advocate what makes you think Snow can finally pull off the rebuild? He took over a team that made the playoffs 3 of 4 seasons and had a playoff team the 1st season he took over as GM in 2006-07. Since then the Isles have missed the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years and it’s looking like this year will make it 6 of 7 years missing the playoffs and trying to rebuild. In a league were over 50% of the teams make the playoffs every year that simple isn’t good enough to justify him keeping his job.

      • jernster21 - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        It’s tough to build a competitive team on a regular basis when your owner limits your ability to keep good players around. Suppose Garth Snow was fired – there isn’t going to be a long line of good people jumping up and down for the job.

  2. pastabelly - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    I hope Peter Chiarelli expresses some interest.

    • shaundre93 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Svedberg + Khoklachev? He would be a solid fill in for Seidenberg

      • beyor35 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Sure if we get their first back as well… No way we give up a future NHL starting caliber goalie and Koko for a rental defenseman…

      • tdrusher225 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        No way! That’s way too much for a rental player.

  3. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    I wish Garth Snow would trade with the Flyers but I see MacDonald heading somewhere out west. Best bargain in the NHL.

  4. imgoingtowichita - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    To St. Louis for Jake Allen and a 2nd round.

  5. killerpgh - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I kind of figured the Isles would start having more success retaining players with JT officially becoming one of the top players in the league, finally getting back to the playoff (last year) and most importantly the franchise has a future home and no longer (after next year) playing in the worst building in the league.

  6. bcisleman - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Isles might use AMac to land a good young goalie. If they can, a young top 6 should be part of the Vanek deal to provide more 2ndary scoring. These trades should make the Isles stronger.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      might is the key word. macdonald will most likely be a rental for a team looking for a powerplay boost or maybe a decent 2nd pairing puck mover. unless a team with a wealth of goaltending talent feels they need that kind of boost i dont see him garnering more than a 2nd round pick honestly. once again just like with vanek, everyone knows now that snow will have to move him or lose him so the price might be pretty low when its all said and done. he wouldve been better served not offering him anything than low-balling his demands and letting him publicly decline the offer. now teams know what they will have to pay to keep him beyond 2013-2014 and will make their decision based on that knowledge. do you give up a decent goaltending prospect for a rental? most teams cant really afford to and it does nothing for the islanders in 2014-2015 if said prospect isnt ready to play. plus i personally dont think macdonald is that good defensively anyway.

      • lbeezyse - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        Might is most likely a far cry from what will happen. Teams will line up for both Mac and Vanek, but they won’t be offering top picks or blue chip prospects. Garth botched both of these situations badly. Teams on the bubble may express interest, but will unlikely offer much as they know each player will hit FA. Why mortgage the future on a rental that you know is going to the FA market? Not every GM is as moronic as Garth.

  7. gratescott - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    I think it’s crazy the Isles even offered him $4m/yr. He’s a 5 – 6 defenseman on any other team. I’d much rather see them use this $ to extend Okposo, Martin, and Nielsen.

    AMac is in his rights to see what the market offers though. Someone will undoubtedly overpay him.

    • jl9830 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Not sure why this is getting downvoted; anyone with even cursory understanding of possession numbers can see plainly enough that AMac isn’t very good.

      Just take blocked shots; leading in this category is not a good thing for defensemen. It means that there are a lot of shots by the opposition for that player to block. Since pretty much all shots occur in the zone, that means that defenseman is playing the majority of his time in his D zone getting shot at, which means he doesn’t possess the puck. On a team like the Isles (bad goaltending), I’m not sure they want their best d-man being a guy who allows shots against all game.

      • fightingwild - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Not an Isles fan but if he is also leading them in Points by Defenseman it seems like he Is their best defenseman. Otherwise he is getting lucky with a ton of 2nd assists. He will probably get his 5-6 mill a year he is looking for.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        hmmm. mike green usually leads the capitals in points by defensemen…is he their best DEFENSEman? karlsson, letang…same thing. i’d say its more rare that your best defenseman leads the group in points. those few exceptions being guys like webber and chara. if macdonald is both point leader and best defenseman for the islanders its simply by default because their d corps are pathetic right now.

      • jl9830 - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        He leads in points because he was (foolishly) put on the first PP unit in Viznovsky’s place during Viznovsky’s entire 40 game absence with the concussion. Anyone could have had his point total.

      • lbeezyse - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        I’d throw Suter into the best D-man leading in points conversation. FYI

  8. ketch20too - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Snow needs to go and a real GM needs to be installed or the owner needs to actually try an win instead of just having a team so he can brag to his buddies about how he owns an NHL team…or probably both.

  9. bruinsfan55 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Hopefully Chiarelli has some interest here. I’ve been hearing rumors of that at least.

  10. tlow97 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Hey Chuck, quick, offer Garth Heatley and Brodziak for something while he’s still doing stupid things!

  11. rlecchino - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Good riddance I can’t wait till they trade him. He is seriously smoking something for rejecting that offer. He’s weak on the puck and a turnover machine

  12. slaugin - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Not what the Bruins need. They need a more physical presence.

    • gratescott - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      You’re absolutely correct. Even with all of their injuries, AMac would still be considered the Bs 7th defenseman. He has no clue how to play Bruin-style hockey. He loves to retreat and block shots. He doesn’t engage and hit.

      The only thing he fits in what Chiarelli wants is that he’s a left handed shot, and someone with an expiring contract.

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