Two big names are on the move today and it’s for varying reasons.
New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald is on his way to Philadelphia. On the other side of the continent, Roberto Luongo has gotten his long-awaited trade out of Vancouver and will be going back to where it all began for him in Florida.
Andrew MacDonald (D)
These are the details of the trade:
#Flyers announce deal for D Andrew MacDonald, sending F prospect Matt Mangene along with 2014 3rd-rounder, 2015 2nd.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) March 4, 2014
That is a pretty steep price for a rental defenseman; MacDonald is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
The reason why I say that MacDonald is polarizing is because he is a defenseman, who in the strict sense of the term, seems like a good minutes-eater. He can score 20-25 points a season while eating 24-25 minutes a game. Sure he has a bad plus/minus (minus-26 over the last three seasons) but that’s been a bad team mostly and he gets a lot of the top match-ups. On the surface, a defenseman most teams would want.
On the flipside, all of MacDonald’s analytics are awful: Pretty much across the board, players show much better results away from MacDonald than with him and have for years. Just because a guy plays a lot of minutes doesn’t necessarily mean he’s very good.
We’ll see how things work out for both sides on this one. There is no doubt that Philadelphia needed help on defense, maybe things get better for MacDonald now that he’s in a new situation.
Roberto Luongo (G)
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) March 4, 2014
So the saga is over.
After a couple years of struggles with Cory Schneider and if Luongo could be traded etc. the word came down that Luongo is headed out of town to go back to Florida. In return, the Canucks get young goalie Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias. Also, it appears Vancouver will eat some of Luongo’s salary but it’s not certain how much at this point.
This had been in the works for years but Luongo’s contract made it nearly impossible for him to be traded anywhere near market value. With the recent hubbub surrounding the Heritage Classic in which Luongo rode the pines in favour of Eddie Lack, the rumours kicked up again that he might be out of town. But again, that contract.
Luongo gets what he was looking for the whole time and that’s a trade back to Florida. Vancouver gets something back for Luongo, Florida gets a goalie they can lean on for 65 games a year for at least the next three years. It seems like a pretty good trade all around for both teams.
What it does signify is the end of the Canucks window for a Stanley Cup. After producing so many division championships and one Stanley Cup final, the cracks of the old guard are starting to show: Luongo is gone, Ryan Kesler seems to be next with Alex Edler and the Sedins can’t stay healthy (not to mention their production has plummeted). This is the start of a rebuild for the Canucks, though it might not be as severe as some other teams in the province next door.
Keep it locked on XNSports for updates.