This trade kind of feels like a step to the left. The Flyers basically replaced Meszaros (more on that below) with MacDonald. MacDonald is a type of player the Flyers seem to love, a shot-blocking defensemen. He is on a contract that expires this year, so he may end up just being a rental, and a cheap one at that. His contract only causes a $550,000 cap hit before expiring in July.
MacDonald is a very average player. He will be paired on the 3rd line with Luke Schenn, at least for now, so he clearly wasn't brought in with the intention of being the type of player that completely changes the team. He played over 20 minutes on average in New York, a roll that will be lessened with the Flyers. Hopefully the lightened roll and the excitement that comes with actually being on a playoff team now will help him flourish.
Many people are upset with the 2nd and 3rd round picks given up for MacDonald, but the way Homer likes to acquire talent from other teams at trade deadlines and in the summer, there's a very likely chance that those picks never would have panned out anyway. With the addition of MacDonald, the Flyers clearly needed to lose another D man to make space, thus Andrej Meszaros was dealt today.
3rd round pick in 2014 from Boston for Andrej Meszaros:
This wasn't really a surprise at all. It's been apparent for weeks that the Flyers were trying to unload Meszaros and his expiring contract. A third round pick is not much for Mez, but he wasn't getting resigned anyway. That third round pick could also turn into a second rounder if Meszaros signs with Boston before the 2014 draft or if Boston makes the Eastern Conference Finals with Meszaros playing in 2/3 of their remaining games. Meszaros was also going to sit and gather dust like Hal Gill if he wasn't moved, so a third round pick should not be scoffed at.
When you combine the 2 trades the Flyers basically dealt Meszaros and a 2nd rounder for Andrew MacDonald, especially considering that MacDonald will take Meszaros' place on the third line with Schenn. The thing about this Meszaros-MacDonald trade is that it's very tough to argue one is better than the other. MacDonald could easily step in and be more effective than Meszaros. They are about the same in terms of goals as of today, Mez with 5, Mac with 4. MacDonald leads in assists with 20 to Mez's 12, though Mez has been injured. MacDonald's +/- is 20 points lower than Meszaros' but that will happen when you play that many minutes for a team like the Islanders.
It seems that if Homer wants to shake up the team he'll do it in the summer. These trades don't affect the team too much overall, but it seems the Flyers had their nose in other teams' business, trying to affect their deadline day.
Rumor has it the only reason the Flyers showed any interest in Vancouver Canucks center, Ryan Kesler, was too drive up the price the Penguins would have to pay. The Penguins were coveting him highly, while it seems the Flyers had to reason to. The team already has a wealth of centers and would have had to give up an established 20-25 year old, a top prospect and 1st round pick to get him. If this was indeed the front office's strategy it worked. Kesler was not moved today and will remain a Canuck for the rest of the season.
One more note. How pissed does it make you that Ilya Bryzgalov, the very guy we paid $51 million to acquire only 2 years ago, was dealt to the Minnesota Wild today by the Oilers in exchange for a 4th round draft pick?
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