What the Phaneuf Trade Says About Andrew MacDonald

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)


Dion Phaneuf’s trade to the Ottawa Senators gives a blueprint for a way that Ron Hextall can try to move Andrew MacDonald. The Maple Leafs moved Phaneuf’s deal, without retaining salary, by finding a team who could use Phaneuf, had a need for his role and took back three shorter term contracts in Greening, Michalek and Cowen.

Given that the Flyers have a similarly cap killing long term contract in Andrew MacDonald, there’s a lot to learn about moving MacDonald from the Phaneuf deal.

Let’s get down to business: Phaneuf and a bunch of random AHLers were moved for three bad contracts (Greening, Michalek, Cowen) and a second round pick. MacDonald is widely considered to be worse than Dion, so we can knock the return down a peg to yet another third round pick.

Now, the Flyers just need three terrible short term teams and a potential trade partner. Luckily, Cap Friendly makes finding this team easy.

Enter the Calgary Flames.

The Flames may be simmering embers near the bottom of the league, with playoff hopes nearly extinguished, but they have the cap situation needed to acquire MacDonald.


For one, they have Kris Russell, a similar shot blocking player, who they’re trying to re-sign but cannot seem to agree on a price for. Also, they have cap crippling short term deals that might be hurting those effors.


So, here’s a version of that trade:

To Calgary, the Flyers send:

Andrew MacDonald (5M)
Mark Alt (2 way ELC, 781,667 in NHL)
Chris Connor (2 way, 575K in NHL)

The Flyers receive, from Calgary

Mason Raymond (3.15M, expires 2017)
Ladislav Smid (3.5M expires 2017)
Deryk Engelland (2,916,667, expires 2017)

The Flyers would be taking on 9.567 in Cap, all of which would expire in 2017 while the Flames would have 1 player, 1 prospect and a 4th line throw in all of which free up roster spots and cash to re-sign Kris Russell. And since Raymond is already buried, the money would be very close, but one Yevgeni Medvedev for a 2nd round pick anywhere solves that issue.

As for next season, the Flyers could have Raymond fill the role of mid-tier offensive forward, currently occupied by Sam Gagner. Smid or Engelland could be the seventh defender, while the Flyers buy out or bury the other, which would still be a win over the current MacDonald debacle.

An Engelland buyout would only cost just over 1M in 16-17 and 900K in 17-18 which is still far better than any retained money on A-Mac until 2010.

As for the Flyers defense, it would quickly turn into the ELC show as, assuming Mark Streit and Yevgeni Medvedev are moved and the RFA’s are brought back, they’d be left with the following:

Del Zotto-Gudas
Bury: Smid

For the sake of this, I have Travis Sanheim in the AHL next year, but it’s very possible that if Schultz moves, the Flyers bottom 4 defenders are quickly taken up by 4 ELCs.

It would be a painful 16-17 season of growing pains, but Provorov could be shot back to Junior at the 9 game mark allowing Sanheim to come up. Sliding Provorov would mean that the Flyers ELC’s on defense wouldn’t all require an extension in the same summer. Ghost would expire in 17, Morin in 18, Saneheim in 19 and Provorov in 2020.

It’s also possible that come July 1, when the Grossmann and Schenn salary retentions come off the books no matter what, the Flyers retain 50% of  Smid and/or Engelland and shoot them to the first team willing to take them for a late round draft pick. Essentially this would mean the Flyers get out of all the cap hits as soon as possible freeing up the maximum potential money available for extensions to the super prospects as needed.

It’s likely a bit of a dream. Offing the MacDonald contract is by far Hextall’s toughest task right now. It may even cost a young player, there’s really nothing to stop the Flames from asking for Scott Laughton, and that might be worth it if it gets MacDonald gone with no retained salary.

However, while it’s a dream, the Maple Leafs and Senators showed that it’s also potential reality.

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