We spoke yesterday about an interview that Ken Holland did where he noted that the Wings would be looking to make a "hockey deal' rather than a rental purchase if there's any deal to be made and also that Detroit would likely focus on improving their defense. With that in mind, MLive's Ansar Khan had a source willing to toss a name out there: Andy MacDonald of the New York Islanders.
A source said they also have interest in defenseman Andrew MacDonald of the New York Islanders, who leads the NHL in blocked shots. He is certain to be dealt as a rental; he’s in the last year of a deal earning just $550,000.
Well ok, there's the basics on the guy. Let's get a bit more info. For that, we'll turn to our SB Nation brethren Lighthouse Hockey for their take on MacDonald:
MacDonald has been discussed and over-analyzed over the years, so the short story is this: He has power play points and big minutes due to playing a role above his ability, but his gaudy shot block numbers and underlying stats hint at a "shutdown" defensemen unfit for top competition. And the Islanders pipeline has enough prospects to prevent a long-term deal to a defenseman of very debatable worth.
MacDonald is 27 years old, 6'1" and about 200 pounds. Unlike most other targets we've discussed, he shoots left. However, if the Wings are looking for a big-minute guy who could fill in on a 2nd pairing to add stability to a defensive corps that's lacking a guy who can play big top four minutes consistently, the direction his stick blade faces isn't exactly a dealbreaker.
What could be a dealbreaker however is that MacDonald just isn't very good it seems.
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I reached out to LHH's Dominik to ask about what the Isles would expect in return. With the Wings at the 50-contract limit, the move would have to be body-for body. Here's how the convo went.
WIIM: What do you think a realistic return for A-Mac would be? Detroit would have to give up a player, as they're at the 50-man limit, Just quick speculating says that guy might be Jakub Kindl, but my homerism says that might require the Isles to throw in a mid-late round pick. Would that be something that would actually happen?
Is there any other information we should know about him while we're kicking the tires on it? Is he known as a great locker-room guy?
Dominik: They are apparently asking for a first-round pick, which ... I wouldn't offer that for him but I could see where a team with a later pick in the first round and minimal cap room would go for that, thanks to his salary. I could see the Islanders being interested in a player rather than a pick; hard to say whether they would value Kindl enough to throw in a sweetener.
He is known as an absolute standup guy, solid character, down-to-earth Maritime guy. He took the long road to the NHL (ECHL time too) and could honestly be useful if paired with a good partner. They gave him an "A" this year even while apparently expecting to part with him by year's end. I don't think they're enjoying parting with him, but the offers are apparently there and they have too many guys in the system to go long on what should ultimately be a third-pair guy.
The Isles have just used him too much, to the point I think it's altered his game to his detriment. I'd be really curious to see if a different situation and different coaching could make him more effective. One more thing you should know is that his points and PP time were inflated this year because of Visnovsky's injury.