Joey MacDonald Hits the Waiver Wire

Kent Wilson
November 02 2013 11:00AM

 

 

The Flames decision to claim Joey MacDonald off of waivers last year was understandable - with Kiprusoff hurt and a collection of career AHLers and Leland Irving to choose from otherwise, grabbing a seasoned (albeit mediocre) veteran was defensible.

I never understood, however, why they decided to re-sign him this off-season. A 33-year old career back-up/below replacement level tender isn't a useful asset from any angle. He's not trade-able and he's not going to get better.

After a rough night against the Wings yesterday and boasting an .885 SV% to startr the season, Joey Mac is going back from whence he came - the waiver wire. My guess is he isn't picked up by anybody and is shuttled to Abbotsford to battle it out with Joni Ortio. I expect Reto Berra to be called up for the Chicago game tomorrow.

Berra, by the way, had a hot start to his year in Abby, but has cooled a bit recently with his SV% sinking to just .908. Of course, he has only played in 9 games in NA, so we really can't be sure what his true talent level is. Worth a look at least.

UPDATE (via Ryan Pike): courtesy the official AHL and ECHL sites: G Reto Berra and D Chad Billins are recalled to Calgary, G Laurent Brossoit is moved from ECHL Alaska to AHL Abbotsford to back up Joni Ortio.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Walter White
November 02 2013, 02:50PM
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Can someone please complete the following sentence;

A hockey trade that would make sense to both sides would see Cory schneider go to the Flames for Jersey native John Gaudreau and........... WW

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#2 Justin Azevedo
November 02 2013, 12:33PM
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also don't expect reto berra to do... well, anything really. i don't anticipate that he's actually an nhl-calibre goalie.

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#3 Justin Azevedo
November 02 2013, 12:29PM
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he's garbage and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. i'm sure he's a great guy but he doesn't help you win hockey games.

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#4 Kevin R
November 02 2013, 11:21AM
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Personally Kent, if no one picks him up, although the Oil should, I think he should be bought out before considering sending him to Abbey! Leave the tending to Ortio & Brossoit down in Abbey. That would make a phenomenal competing environment between two hungry goalies trying to prove themselves at the pro level. This is a no-brainer, its not like we don't have the cap space for the buyout. Stupid contract right from the start & we should have given Leiland & Taylor a shot before even picking him up last year. Both of those guys toiled for this organization & deserved that chance before being cut loose. Who knows, had we done that, we may have had Seth Jones or Barkov.

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#6 Kenta
November 02 2013, 11:41AM
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Kevin R wrote:

Personally Kent, if no one picks him up, although the Oil should, I think he should be bought out before considering sending him to Abbey! Leave the tending to Ortio & Brossoit down in Abbey. That would make a phenomenal competing environment between two hungry goalies trying to prove themselves at the pro level. This is a no-brainer, its not like we don't have the cap space for the buyout. Stupid contract right from the start & we should have given Leiland & Taylor a shot before even picking him up last year. Both of those guys toiled for this organization & deserved that chance before being cut loose. Who knows, had we done that, we may have had Seth Jones or Barkov.

You seem to have mistakenly ended up on Flamesnation. Click the yellowish tab above for the site handling the team north up the QE2.

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#7 Justin Azevedo
November 03 2013, 11:36AM
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seve927 wrote:

Just curious Justin, what would the coaches response typically be when your mom pointed this out?

I don't really care what the coaches response would be, honestly. until macdonald goes above .915, i'm right. also, I think you should probably consider never commenting like that again.

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#8 Walter white
November 02 2013, 07:26PM
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ed wailin' wrote:

Walter White.... signing off with your initials EVERYTIME is really annoying...

Should I be more like everyone else? Try and fit in?

Kassian is the cheapest player in the league.... Like I have said before on this blog; players should be held responsible for the damage their skates do, just like their stick. Someone is going to get hurt really bad by this skate bs! WW

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#9 Kmp
November 02 2013, 02:27PM
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I think Ortio is the best of the bunch, Gillies not included. I think the Backlands demotion to the 4th line may be because of conditioning. When he was playing more minutes he struggled in the 3rd period and looked gassed. Just a guess.

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#10 EugeneV
November 02 2013, 08:26PM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

They have to give Stajan enough ice time to give him SOME trade value. (soon hopefully)

While at the same time they need to assess Colborne by giving him ice time, and of course at the same time they need to give Monahan enough ice as well.

This leaves Backlund where he is currently, a 3rd line center on a team without a 3rd line.

Backlund is a year older than Colborne with 150 more NHL games, so the team should know where he will slot in going forward. (maybe on another team)

Seems pretty clear to people who WATCH THE GAMES WITH THEIR EYES (not just with advanced stats which only complement the eye test) that he will not score enough to be a top 6 on a Cup winning team

Remember that WE ARE REBUILDING and that Backlund is only a piece of a puzzle and he is replaceable with a free agent when we actually need a 3rd line center

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#11 BurningSensation
November 03 2013, 09:26AM
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beloch wrote:

Just watched the Oiler-Wings game... Man. Watching a slaughter like that really gives you some perspective.

1. Hartley is a GOD compared to Dallas Eakins.
2. It is a long way down to rock-bottom from where the Flames currently sit.
3. We should be thankful for the job Feaster's been doing.

I love this assessment, in particular, #2.

When the Oilers bottomed out it was because they were utterly awful (to the complete surpise of their management) - and despite 3 1st overall picks (and the gift of Justin Schultz), the roster remains awful.

In contrast, Feaster started rebuilding the talent pipeline when he came on board, but he did so while keeping a stable of decent vets and making a run at the playoffs. Lots of fans start counting the rebuild at the Iggy trade, but it really began much earlier with the Regehr trade (which was not as bad as many have suggested).

Now that the MacBackup experiment is over (and kudos to the Flames for giving the vet a legit shot before letting Ramo take over), we can see if Ramo can be a league average goalie.

And if he is, we are WAY ahead of the Oilers

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#12 Kevin R
November 02 2013, 12:16PM
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Kenta wrote:

You seem to have mistakenly ended up on Flamesnation. Click the yellowish tab above for the site handling the team north up the QE2.

Hahahaha ???? Is that you Joey? Are you capable of reading a whole post? You're a funny guy. Have a lovely day.

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#13 Kenta
November 02 2013, 12:21PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Hahahaha ???? Is that you Joey? Are you capable of reading a whole post? You're a funny guy. Have a lovely day.

You too and say hi to all Oilers fans in what was previously known as The City of Champions. LOL.

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#14 mattyc
November 02 2013, 12:52PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

he's garbage and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. i'm sure he's a great guy but he doesn't help you win hockey games.

haha! So absolutist.

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#15 Colin.S
November 02 2013, 11:28AM
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Are College guys eligible to leave in the middle of their season by any chance.....

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#16 seve927
November 02 2013, 11:58AM
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I don't know what the value is of having good guys on the team, but I don't think it's zero. Just like having Craig Conroy in the front office. I have no idea if he has any clue what he's doing, but I bet he's had a big part in being able to draw some guys to sign here. That could have been the impetus in having MacDonald around, who knows. All I know is I'm certainly not upset that he's played a handful of games, and I don't see that he's taking anything away from anybody's development.

I wish him the best and hope somebody picks him up.

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#17 schevvy
November 02 2013, 11:59AM
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Best news of the day.

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#18 HongKongHockeyFan
November 02 2013, 02:12PM
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I know I'm repeating a previous gripe of mine in a recent posting but is it me or doesn't anyone find it funny that as Joe Colborne's ice time has gone and conversely Michael Backlund's has gone down, Calgary's record has gone down.

Similarly, the return of Matt Stajan does not seem to be tilting the ice in Calgary's favour, which is undermining the team.

While it is clear that Calgary doesn't have any number 1 centres on the team currently, nevertheless a solid number 2 (though it is clear that Monahan will eventually be a capable 1/2 centre), I'm still completely perplexed about why Backlund has been relegated to the 4th line or worse.

Although I agree that Colborne is playing better than I initially thought he was capable of, he is still not at Backlund's level. Apologies to all of Colborne's family and friend's in Calgary but I just doesn't have that initial burst of speed to get to pucks and move the play the right way in my view at least as far as taking a first line centre role. He seems more suited for the wing as he looks very capable of winning battles on the board.

I guess at the end of the day, I'm frustrated with both Stajan and Colborne taking up more ice time than Backlund. Lets face it, Stajan's days are numbered in Calgary, however I admit he is simply not a tradable asset.

Anyways, I guess Backlund's days are numbered as a Flames. Although I hope I'm wrong, I suspect that he will be traded to make room for Knight, Horak or Reinhart.

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#19 HongKongHockeyFan
November 02 2013, 09:02PM
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@Chad and EugeneV

Chad, I think you have hit the nail in the head about your assessment of Backlund's skill set. I still think his ceiling may be a bit higher, however, I believe it is hard to tell given Calgary's wingers, which are mainly second or third liners most nights. Though I have to give props to Hudler, he has been playing great this year.

EugeneV, I hope your wrong about management bumping up Stajan's minutes to lift his trade value because I'd rather see the Flames winning games at this point in the season, which has shown to be the case when he is not in the line up. As I mentioned before, I just don't think he is tradable asset given the lower salary cap. I just hope we don't resign him.

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#20 seve927
November 03 2013, 11:29AM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

he's garbage and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. i'm sure he's a great guy but he doesn't help you win hockey games.

Just curious Justin, what would the coaches response typically be when your mom pointed this out?

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#21 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 12:00PM
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What is the scouting report on Chad Billins, and why him over some others - any thoughts anyone?

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#22 ed wailin'
November 02 2013, 06:01PM
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Walter White.... signing off with your initials EVERYTIME is really annoying...

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#23 beloch
November 02 2013, 10:44PM
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Just watched the Oiler-Wings game... Man. Watching a slaughter like that really gives you some perspective.

1. Hartley is a GOD compared to Dallas Eakins.
2. It is a long way down to rock-bottom from where the Flames currently sit.
3. We should be thankful for the job Feaster's been doing.

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#24 Burnward
November 03 2013, 12:02AM
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Dear Current Calgary Flames,

THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING THE OILERS.

Sincerely,

My Sanity

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#25 ngthagg
November 03 2013, 06:15AM
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Bringing Berra up to the NHL makes a lot of sense. It's so difficult to predict NHL goalie success from play outside the NHL that I firmly believe the only way to go is to give goalies time in the NHL. Ramo/Berra will be a better fit with Hartley as well. His win-you're-in, lose-you're-out strategy makes sense now.

Regarding Backlund, I have no problems with him on the fourth line. There are excellent reasons for Stajan, Colborne, and Monahan being ahead of him (some of which are outlined above). It's his linemates that I object to. Young defensively responsible centers are not common enough for us to give up on Backlund. Surely we could find some wingers that can play a similarly defensively responsible style of hockey, while at the same time provide opportunities for his scoring to develop! We can't afford to go the route of the Oilers and only develop players with top line potential.

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#26 SmellOfVictory
November 03 2013, 09:44AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

I love this assessment, in particular, #2.

When the Oilers bottomed out it was because they were utterly awful (to the complete surpise of their management) - and despite 3 1st overall picks (and the gift of Justin Schultz), the roster remains awful.

In contrast, Feaster started rebuilding the talent pipeline when he came on board, but he did so while keeping a stable of decent vets and making a run at the playoffs. Lots of fans start counting the rebuild at the Iggy trade, but it really began much earlier with the Regehr trade (which was not as bad as many have suggested).

Now that the MacBackup experiment is over (and kudos to the Flames for giving the vet a legit shot before letting Ramo take over), we can see if Ramo can be a league average goalie.

And if he is, we are WAY ahead of the Oilers

Have to disagree on the Regehr trade. That trade was terrible. It would be palatable if there had been no 2nd rounder going to Buffalo for Byron, but as it stands it's pretty gross.

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#27 Veggie Dog
November 03 2013, 11:31AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Have to disagree on the Regehr trade. That trade was terrible. It would be palatable if there had been no 2nd rounder going to Buffalo for Byron, but as it stands it's pretty gross.

Can we stop beating the Regehr dead-horse. It was in a different era when we were saddled with so many NTCs and high cap contracts that we were up against it. Regehr was past his best, and we unloaded Kotalik on the hapless Sabres. Even if Sutter is mindlessly attached to him, we would not be appreciably better with him, and in any case, that ship sailed 2.5 years ago.

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#28 Justin Azevedo
November 03 2013, 11:40AM
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@Veggie Dog

I don't think there's any reason to let it go considering buffalo got more in return for him than the flames did even though he was considerably worse in buffalo

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#29 mattyc
November 02 2013, 11:35AM
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I feel for him, he's one of the nice guys.

Bring on Dipietro or Bryzgalov? - I kid I kid!

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#30 coachedpotatoe
November 02 2013, 12:20PM
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Chad Billings has the best stats on D from Abby and based upon his size etc, is somewhere between a Russell and a Smith. Hopefully he gets to suit up and we can see him play for 10 games to get an idea where he fits.

Joey the Goalie; we knew what he was when we picked him up and we got exactly that. Good luck to him. Now we can get a better understanding of Ramo and Berra (possibly Ortio down the road).

The question is when are they going to do something up front. Having Jackman and McG as your only options upfront limit your depth and development.

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#31 RexLibris
November 02 2013, 12:38PM
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I wonder how that conversation went at the Flames office.

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#32 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 01:14PM
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aloudoun wrote:

If anyone feels bad for Joey then watch his post-game interview… wow.

where is it?

never mind, i found it

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#33 Captain Ron
November 02 2013, 01:19PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Hahahaha ???? Is that you Joey? Are you capable of reading a whole post? You're a funny guy. Have a lovely day.

Hey Bro you in a diplomatic mood today? You sound so nice!

Should have told him to pound! Hahahaha LOL!!

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#34 Captain Ron
November 02 2013, 01:23PM
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Mac bye bye!!

Come back when you cant stay so long.

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#35 ChinookArch
November 02 2013, 02:22PM
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Sounds like Berra might start tomorrow night vs. Chicago. He's travelling with the team. No better test than the current champions.

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#36 Chad
November 02 2013, 03:50PM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

Backlund problem is that he is a non-traditional middle six center in a traditional organization.

Backlund is the best Flames center from the opposition blue line back to the Flames end he also is the worst offensive center from the opposition blue line in.

As a result there are several roles that Backlund could take and be a very effective player that drives play either as the center on a hard minutes line that tries to play keep away from other team top lines or the defensive responsible player between two offensive players that get the play into the offensive zone for them.

Unfortunately the Flames are a very traditional organization and they want 2 scoring lines that play all the power play time a physical third checking line and then a "energy" line that is big and doesn't play very much.

So Backlund doesn't score enough to play on the second line and he isn't as flashy/gritty working defensively like Stephen Yelle was so the organization can't see what Backlund should be doing.

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#37 Primo
November 02 2013, 05:30PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Personally Kent, if no one picks him up, although the Oil should, I think he should be bought out before considering sending him to Abbey! Leave the tending to Ortio & Brossoit down in Abbey. That would make a phenomenal competing environment between two hungry goalies trying to prove themselves at the pro level. This is a no-brainer, its not like we don't have the cap space for the buyout. Stupid contract right from the start & we should have given Leiland & Taylor a shot before even picking him up last year. Both of those guys toiled for this organization & deserved that chance before being cut loose. Who knows, had we done that, we may have had Seth Jones or Barkov.

I was of the same mind set as you. But after seeing what we have in Monahan he may become the better overall player than Jones or Barkov.

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#38 ed wailin
November 02 2013, 07:53PM
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WW - Do whatever you want man. I'm just sayin.

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#39 coachedpotatoe
November 02 2013, 08:01PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Another win for Ortio. 35 saves, three more in shootout. Blair Jones with two goals and the shootout winner.

Just what I was going to report, add both Grandlund and Knight also scored in the shootout. I wonder if there will be a call up from the forward ranks to meet them in Chicago, Rhino also had an assist for all those haters.

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#40 aloudoun
November 03 2013, 01:20AM
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Just when it seems it can't get any worse for the Oilers… it does. I honestly can't think of how they can possibly fix this. They have no depth, no defence, no goaltending and no character or drive on that team. The culture of losing is hard to break... Happy to be a Flames fan right now :)

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#41 ChinookArch
November 03 2013, 06:59AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Just when it seems it can't get any worse for the Oilers… it does. I honestly can't think of how they can possibly fix this. They have no depth, no defence, no goaltending and no character or drive on that team. The culture of losing is hard to break... Happy to be a Flames fan right now :)

Yup. Time to rebuild the rebuild.

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#42 coachedpotatoe
November 03 2013, 07:29AM
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With the Leafs losing another center last night I wonder if Burke will put his nose into looking at another trade.

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#43 SmellOfVictory
November 03 2013, 11:47AM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Can we stop beating the Regehr dead-horse. It was in a different era when we were saddled with so many NTCs and high cap contracts that we were up against it. Regehr was past his best, and we unloaded Kotalik on the hapless Sabres. Even if Sutter is mindlessly attached to him, we would not be appreciably better with him, and in any case, that ship sailed 2.5 years ago.

The other dude brought up the Regehr trade, so I responded. Kotalik also has absolutely nothing to do with Byron.

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#44 ?
November 03 2013, 11:56AM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Can we stop beating the Regehr dead-horse. It was in a different era when we were saddled with so many NTCs and high cap contracts that we were up against it. Regehr was past his best, and we unloaded Kotalik on the hapless Sabres. Even if Sutter is mindlessly attached to him, we would not be appreciably better with him, and in any case, that ship sailed 2.5 years ago.

Still, BUF got 2 second round picks for a broken, slower, and older Regehr than the one the Flames traded to them. If Kotalik was killing the Flames' return to such a degree, the owners should've tried to loan him to a European league team, demoted him to the AHL, bought him out, or just eat up the remaining term on his contract.

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#45 SVENSANITY
November 03 2013, 12:13PM
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I firmly believe that you need to give a goalie more than a few games in the NHL before you just throw them away. I understand that we're in the business of winning and results are the outcome that drives decisions. However, we are in a rebuild, management has admitted as such. If anyone in management believes this team can sneak into a playoff spot they're not giving themselves realistic expectation and setting realistic goals for this season. Ultimately, Ramo and Berra need to be given games as a tandem they should each have gotten 41 games. Play them in Hartley's little 5 game stretches so they can get a rhythm going and you're going to get a more realistic ideal of what you have. If one proves to be significantly better than role with that pick but until they do just rotate them 5 games in 5 games out and let them gain some confidence in their abilities.

Personally i feel like Ramo has looked okay. He's been hung out to dry on a few goals and he's had one or two weak ones go in as a result of bad positioning which I blame the transition to a smaller surface for. These things can be ironed out though. He has the instincts and reactions that cannot be taught. The fundamentals he can work on. The issue will be confidence and if your god damn coach pulls them out every other game you will end up ruining a goalie.

@WW Trade Gaudreau for Scnieder?... I don't care if you're the drug kingpin of the south west come at me bro! You crey-crey

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#46 Veggie Dog
November 03 2013, 12:14PM
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@SmellOfVictory

I didn't mean necessarily you only, I was just replying to Regehr talk in general. Also, of course Kotalik is part of it. He was in the package. He was expensive, and rubbish. At least Byron is cheap and rubbish.

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#47 BurningSensation
November 03 2013, 12:28PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Have to disagree on the Regehr trade. That trade was terrible. It would be palatable if there had been no 2nd rounder going to Buffalo for Byron, but as it stands it's pretty gross.

I think we 'lose' the Regehr trade - badly - until you factor in that it was the ticket out of cap-relief hell.

Kotalik's contract in particular was weapons grade radioactive.

It was that move though, dealing aging vet, and a huge amount of money to get younger (if not actually better), that defines Feaster as seeing the forest for the trees.

The team was carrying a ton of bad contract money, and in that one move Feaster gave the team breathing room to make changes.

Every move since has been to make the team younger, and/or to collect picks prospects.

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#48 cunning_linguist
November 02 2013, 11:23AM
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This is how it should be. Berra and Ramo battling it out in CGY so we can get a true assessment of their talent levels. Kind of feel bad for Mac, but .885% goaltending with no upside speaks for itself.

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#50 Ryan Pike
November 02 2013, 11:42AM
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Part of me will miss Mac, having family from the same area of Nova Scotia where he's from. He's also a really nice guy. On the other hand, his numbers and play are what they are.

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