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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#51 Lordmork
November 02 2013, 11:58AM
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It's always too bad when a player who's a nice guy gets demoted/traded/whatever. I hope maybe he's able to mentor Ortio/Brossoit and find some success in the AHL. But from an organizational standpoint, it seems pretty clear that the best way forward is to play Berra and Ramo until the team figures out which one is best.

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#52 Ryan Pike
November 02 2013, 12:02PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

He's said to have been quietly good in Abby this year. 5 goals and an assist over 10 games. He's a good solid depth option. Based on pre-season, I'd compare him to Derek Smith, but I haven't seen enough of him outside of pre-season to judge too much.

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#53 RKD
November 02 2013, 12:04PM
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Let's see where the 1-2 tandem of Berra and Ramo take us the rest of the season. Bryz would be too much of a distraction, they don't need any problems in the dressing room.

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#54 John
November 02 2013, 12:26PM
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Flames struggled a few years to find a good goalie before they landed Kipper. Looks like we are back to those days, where we can outplay teams and still lose because our goalie is below average. On one hand, you can see that the Flames stockpiled themselves with goalie prospects for just this scenario, but prospects can play well in junior or AHL and still not be NHL quality. Look at the Leafs struggle before they got Bernier and Philly,s now to get a goaltender.

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#55 aloudoun
November 02 2013, 12:55PM
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If anyone feels bad for Joey then watch his post-game interview… wow.

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#56 mattyc
November 02 2013, 12:55PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yeah I agree. Seems like just yesterday we were talking about how the Flames have been exceeding expectations.

Speaking of just yesterday - I can't believe Rick Dipietro is 32(!) already.

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#57 Baalzamon
November 02 2013, 12:57PM
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John wrote:

Flames struggled a few years to find a good goalie before they landed Kipper. Looks like we are back to those days, where we can outplay teams and still lose because our goalie is below average. On one hand, you can see that the Flames stockpiled themselves with goalie prospects for just this scenario, but prospects can play well in junior or AHL and still not be NHL quality. Look at the Leafs struggle before they got Bernier and Philly,s now to get a goaltender.

In both cases, those teams had a great goalie who they subsequently traded for no apparent reason. Toronto had Rask (!!!), traded him for Raycroft. Philly had Bobrovsky, traded him for... well, nothing really.

And anyway, the Leafs already had Reimer anyway, so it's not like they were completely barren when they traded for Bernier.

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#58 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 01:20PM
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aloudoun wrote:

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

just watched it...

he seems VERY frustrated, and by my interpretation really throws the other guys under the bus - excuses his soft goal (he says "lucky one" but by my count there were 2 freebies!) and blames the loss on the teams lack of effort in the 3rd.

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#59 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 01:26PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

He's said to have been quietly good in Abby this year. 5 goals and an assist over 10 games. He's a good solid depth option. Based on pre-season, I'd compare him to Derek Smith, but I haven't seen enough of him outside of pre-season to judge too much.

So, it seems he is an offensive, puck moving defensman that is smaller.

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#60 KetchupKid
November 02 2013, 01:46PM
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aloudoun wrote:

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

Agreed. I didn't care for his tone at all in that interview. You could argue that it's become a meaningless gesture over the years, but I always appreciate when a player errs on the side of accepting responsibility for a loss. MacD flat out did the opposite.

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#61 beloch
November 02 2013, 02:31PM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

Like: Colborne is being developed rather than left to rot on the goon squad. This is a good year to prioritize player development even if it means a few losses.

No like: Hartley isn't being honest with Backlund about why he's in the dog house. Backlund doesn't need to develop as much as Colborne or Monahan and Stajan needs some TOI to ensure his trade value stays high. Fine. Be honest about that. Don't play Backlund on the goon squad in a shut-down role and then bench him for not scoring enough.

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#62 theCalgaryJames
November 02 2013, 02:40PM
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so, with the update and seeing as how LB has been brought up to backup Ortio in abby... do we expect MacDonald to be assigned to the ECHL? if so, ouch! but really his play has been that bad. He's played himself out of the league.

Ramo hasn't been a whole lot better but I think he gets at least a little bit of a pass due to his inexperience in the league and NA as a whole.

Backlund's demotion is an absolute debacle. The guy has played the toughest minutes on this team. Do I think he has more to give offensively? Sure. But how does it help his offensive game to have him play barely any ES hockey while in the middle of McGratten and Bouma?

If we're to believe the teams line on 'meritocracy' then we should expect guys like Glencross, O'Brien, etc. to be taking a seat long before Backs.

I don't get it, Hartley. I just don't.

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#63 beloch
November 02 2013, 02:42PM
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Re: MacDonald

He was a warm body with a pulse when the Flames were seriously considering taping a plywood cutout to their net. The best that can be said about him is that he was slightly better than utterly terrible. Ramo, despite being not great so far, is a clear upgrade. Cutting MacBackup loose so other prospects can be evaluated is a no-brainer.

I only hope someone claims MacDonald off waivers, thereby burning the ships and forcing Feaster to finally put his back to the sea and commit to finding a real NHL goalie.

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#64 Ryan Pike
November 02 2013, 02:47PM
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MacDonald's not on an entry-level deal, so he can't be sent to the ECHL.

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#65 gotommygo
November 02 2013, 02:56PM
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According to AHL.com, Abbotsford has signed goalie David Harris to an ATO. HockeyDB says he currently plays for U of T. Must be the backup goalie for the Heat in their game tonight in Hamilton.

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#66 Baalzamon
November 02 2013, 03:21PM
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@Kmp

Nope. Backlund was in the best shape on the team in training camp. I sincerely doubt he has any conditioning issues.

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#67 piscera.infada
November 02 2013, 03:27PM
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beloch wrote:

Like: Colborne is being developed rather than left to rot on the goon squad. This is a good year to prioritize player development even if it means a few losses.

No like: Hartley isn't being honest with Backlund about why he's in the dog house. Backlund doesn't need to develop as much as Colborne or Monahan and Stajan needs some TOI to ensure his trade value stays high. Fine. Be honest about that. Don't play Backlund on the goon squad in a shut-down role and then bench him for not scoring enough.

My thoughts exactly.

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#68 yomamen11
November 02 2013, 03:54PM
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Hallelujah!

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#69 Thprop1
November 02 2013, 07:14PM
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Holy crap just watched the interview... I wonder if Feaster did too ... When was he waived..pretty bush comments.

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#70 Baalzamon
November 02 2013, 07:41PM
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Another win for Ortio. 35 saves, three more in shootout. Blair Jones with two goals and the shootout winner.

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#71 acg5151
November 02 2013, 11:44PM
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Alaska Aces fan here. My friend watched the game that Brossoir played and he was pretty impressed. Him leaving won't affect AK too much because we already have Guggenberger but both it sounded to me like Brossoit and Ortio were both solid for the Aces. A lot of teams have worse goaltending prospect pipelines than Calgary right now.

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#72 coachedpotatoe
November 03 2013, 07:10AM
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ngthagg wrote:

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.

This of course would mean rolling four lines. I still don't how a guy like Hartley can't get this especially with a team in rebuild mold.

With a skilled but two way forward like Stemp injured for at least two more weeks his replacement needs to be a similar forward; by now it has to be clear that if you play McG or Jackman that you limit your forwards you can play. Bring up a kid who can skate and has some offensive upside and has demonstrated he understands how to play a little d. Heck even bring up one of the journeymen forwards as one last look; Byron, BJones or even the big guy we have given up on(brain cramp I can't remember his name) Anything has to be better than watching this.(except watching the oilers)

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#73 ChinookArch
November 03 2013, 07:29AM
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For the most part, Hartley has done some very good work, since taking over. While the results are ultimately a credit to the players, Hartley has been a steady hand. Two complaints remain, first I'd like to see him trust, and develop the younger players, and sit vets that simply don't deserve the TOI they've received. This I think would improve, if he fixed the second complaint: his appreciaton of goons. By simply re-jigged the 4th line, and created another 3rd line with tons of speed, the team would impove. By my eye Calgary has enough talent to have 2 solid 2nd lines, and 2 solid 3rd lines.

By cutting McGratton from this team, and replacing him with GlenX on the forth, we end up with a dangerous and gritty 4th line, with the added benefit of elevating younger forwards up the rotation. Also, Backlund actually has a hockey player as a line mate.

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#74 coachedpotatoe
November 03 2013, 07:36AM
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ChinookArch wrote:

For the most part, Hartley has done some very good work, since taking over. While the results are ultimately a credit to the players, Hartley has been a steady hand. Two complaints remain, first I'd like to see him trust, and develop the younger players, and sit vets that simply don't deserve the TOI they've received. This I think would improve, if he fixed the second complaint: his appreciaton of goons. By simply re-jigged the 4th line, and created another 3rd line with tons of speed, the team would impove. By my eye Calgary has enough talent to have 2 solid 2nd lines, and 2 solid 3rd lines.

By cutting McGratton from this team, and replacing him with GlenX on the forth, we end up with a dangerous and gritty 4th line, with the added benefit of elevating younger forwards up the rotation. Also, Backlund actually has a hockey player as a line mate.

Who replaces GlenX on that line? So you leave the Monahan and Colborne lines alone, have Backs with Bouma and GlenX and Staj, with DJ and??? a call up from Abby.(Youngster or Journeyman) I would be fine with that.

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#75 coachedpotatoe
November 03 2013, 08:23AM
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I have been looking at the Heat roster and thinking about all the anger towards Byron/Butler trade for RR; hard to believe that Byron is only 24 and many have totally given up on him. Nemisz is only 23 and he has also been written off by many. While I'm not advocating that they are great they are having decent seasons in Abby. By the way for all the Rhino haters out there he is now up to -4 but has points in the last 3 games.

Looking at the Heat roster boy are they young on the back end. Ortio has played well in his three games, won them all; two as a starter one in relief. Up front Knight is becoming a good pro and Grandlund seems to be adjusting to north american ice. BJones might be doing enough either to het out of Hartleys dog house or to have a trade value.

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#76 Scruffyfish
November 03 2013, 09:19AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

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.

I recall Reinhart had a mediocre year in AHL last year but was very impactful when brought up. Perhaps he is better than appears.

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#77 SmellOfVictory
November 03 2013, 09:41AM
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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.

Absolutely. I love Hartley as a coach; the only thing he does that drives me nuts is his treatment of Backlund. Everything else is above average, or at least average (e.g. dressing goons, which every coach in the league does).

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#78 Baalzamon
November 03 2013, 09:54AM
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Blair Jones is currently averaging nearly four shots per game. Even Horak doesn't approach that pace. (Jones also has 7 points in 7 games, which is also nice)

I think it may be time for a Knight callup. No points last night, but he's been real steady for the Heat.

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#79 T&A4Flames
November 03 2013, 10:43AM
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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 :)

And apparently no interest in trading anything of value (which seems limited to begin with at the moment). The only value they may move would be their 1st but given its current position, maybe not that either. Hemsky, yea, he should bring the top line D they want.

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#80 T&A4Flames
November 03 2013, 10:44AM
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Anyone hear if Joey Mac cleared waivers or not?

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#81 T&A4Flames
November 03 2013, 10:45AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

This of course would mean rolling four lines. I still don't how a guy like Hartley can't get this especially with a team in rebuild mold.

With a skilled but two way forward like Stemp injured for at least two more weeks his replacement needs to be a similar forward; by now it has to be clear that if you play McG or Jackman that you limit your forwards you can play. Bring up a kid who can skate and has some offensive upside and has demonstrated he understands how to play a little d. Heck even bring up one of the journeymen forwards as one last look; Byron, BJones or even the big guy we have given up on(brain cramp I can't remember his name) Anything has to be better than watching this.(except watching the oilers)

Knight would look good beside Backs. One can move to the wing. Backs played wing beside Berglund in Sweden during the lockout and killed it.

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#82 Caleb
November 03 2013, 11:35AM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Anyone hear if Joey Mac cleared waivers or not?

cleared

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#83 seve927
November 03 2013, 12:02PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

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.

It was intended to be funny. Sorry to have offended you.

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#84 kittensandcookies
November 03 2013, 12:22PM
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@BurningSensation

You love this assessment? Virtually every team looks good compared to the 29th place Oilers. Might as well compare the Flames to a junior team.

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#85 Steve
November 03 2013, 12:58PM
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Bolland injured, we have the solution!! Matty for a 2nd :) Get on it fleester!

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#86 Steve
November 03 2013, 01:03PM
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@burningsensation

Don't forget the langkow deal for steps, that freed cap space as well could return us some young assets if feaster moves steps at the deadline. 2 draft picks could be a realistic return if he continues to play well. That was a good move on feasters part.

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#87 Baalzamom
November 03 2013, 01:13PM
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Steve wrote:

Bolland injured, we have the solution!! Matty for a 2nd :) Get on it fleester!

Call now and your Butler is free.

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#88 exsanguinator
November 03 2013, 01:41PM
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First off, why the hell is Granlund such a hard name for people to spell? It drives me nuts.

Second, the Regehr trade: was good at the time, got rid of him before he truly cratered in Buffalo, got replacement level players at the time for him and got rid of Kotalik's toxic contract. At worse this was an even trade.

Third, (Regehr part 2) the fact that LA got him for 2 second rounders is clearly a trade that had Dutter's finger prints all over it. You can't use that as a measuring stick for the Flames trade. In my mind it was a bad trade for LA and it was an even trade for the Flames. Two separate situations.

And lastly, here's hoping that Ramo and Berra can hold the fort until Brossoit is ready. I like that the Flames rewarded Mac for his play last season but 2 years is 1 year too long. He's not a starter, never will be but a one year deal to reward a guy that did a reasonable job in a pinch would have been fine.

I also want to add that these deals for some players that have such a divided reaction (Wideman, Hudler, heck, even Macdonald) the one thing that unites these moves are the teams that they have come from. Winning teams, with teams that buy in and have measurable success.

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#89 suba steve
November 03 2013, 02:52PM
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@exsanguinator

Joey Mac is on a 1 year deal ($925,000).

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#90 exsanguinator
November 03 2013, 03:41PM
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suba steve wrote:

Joey Mac is on a 1 year deal ($925,000).

Oh, I thought for sure he was on a two year deal. Hooray fact checking!

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#91 Ed Wailin'
November 03 2013, 10:09PM
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re: reggie trade

bear in mind that at that point in history we absolutely reeked of desperation to other gms... it was a ballsy move with no potential PR upside but it removed the handcuffs of "cap hell" allowing the rebuild/"retool" to begin.

also, I'm stoked on Russell right now, keep it up guy!

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