Flames re-sign MacDonald

Kent Wilson
April 20 2013 09:33AM

 

joey macdonald

pic via Alfed Reloaded

Calgary announced this morning on twitter that the club has re-signed veteran back-up Joey MacDonald to a one year, $925,000 contract.

During the Flames recent mini rebound, MacDonald has had a good couple of contests, but I'll be frank - I don't really understand this move. At least, I don't understand why it was undertaken now. MacDonald is a 33 year old career journeyman goalie with a .903 career save percentage in the NHL. You can pick those up on the trade or free agent market pretty much any day of the week - hell, Calgary acquired him by picking him off of waivers.

As such, this sort of contract makes a lot more sense if it was signed in, say, August after the team has tried and failed to acquire a quality alternative.

I've talked at length the last 6-12 months about the club's inability to build real redundancy in net at the NHL level since Kipper grabbed the reins. Well, this isn't really how you do it - Joey Mac is a veteran and a pro, but he's never been better than replacement level and at 33 years old he's not a good bet to meaningfully improve.

Right now, it looks like Berra, Ramo and MacDonald will be battling for two NHL spots in training camp which is...uh I guess a kind of redundancy, but not the type I mean.

I suspect more than one established better than mediocre NHL puckstopper is going to squirt loose this off-season, either via trade or buy-out. I hope the Flames jamming their depth chart with unknown commodities and career back-ups doesn't dissuade them from looking at any legit starters if they are available.

Finally, this move seems to solidify the fact that Kipper will retire in the summer. It's either that or Feaster isn't sure that Ramo will sign a deal and leave the KHL. I guess we'll see which it is.

 

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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 mattyc
April 20 2013, 09:04PM
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@Justin Azevedo

MacDonald was 0.917 in 10/11 and 0.913 in 11/12 (plain SV% im too lazy to calculate EVSV)... Not horrible, nothing to get too upset about.

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#52 Justin Azevedo
April 20 2013, 09:17PM
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@mattyc

career evsv%: .911 on 2658 shots in 119 gp

not an nhl level goalie

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#53 mattyc
April 20 2013, 10:34PM
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@Justin Azevedo

He had reasonable numbers in Detroit (no one's arguing he should be a starter, but he's not a horrible backup). Using his entire career SV% (EVSV% or total SV% regardless) probably conflates things a bit because you're assuming his skill has stayed constant. I also think it's simplistic just to use his save percentage as a blanket statement ("he only saved 91% of shots he sucks") because you aren't taking into account the fact he's played with a bunch of different teams and had a relatively wide spread of SV%s. (which is consistent with work that suggests SV% sustainability is largely influenced by team skill/quality). (http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=558)

More to my point, we're talking about the backup goalie - who will play 10-20 games max next year unless something crazy happens. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. The difference between MacDonald and anyone they would have signed elsewhere as a backup is probably nominal/be swamped by random variance.

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#54 Eddie Shore
April 21 2013, 12:00AM
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@mattyc

Who's starting?

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#55 loudogYYC
April 21 2013, 03:38AM
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A few of you are jumping to conclusions a bit too soon.

MacDonald is as good a back up goalie as you'll find for under $1M, the 1 year term is what makes it more than acceptable. He's not a solution, he's a decent option.

Feaster hasn't proven much yet as a GM. As much as I like the prospect pool compared to the past, it still means nothing until a few of them pan out in the NHL or one of them is traded for a legit 1st liner. That won't be necessary yet though.

2013/14 will be Calgary's first full year in a rebuild process, It'll be ok to test out players and take short term risks cuz we don't know who's gonna lead the team yet and we don't have enough quality prospects to turn the team around in 1 year like Philadelphia or Montreal did.

I'm ok with another losing season and another top 10 pick next year, as long as they stick to a smart plan. No need to play any of the 1st rd picks we select this June next season. Less Edmonton and more Chicago!

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#56 suba steve
April 21 2013, 05:58AM
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mattyc wrote:

He had reasonable numbers in Detroit (no one's arguing he should be a starter, but he's not a horrible backup). Using his entire career SV% (EVSV% or total SV% regardless) probably conflates things a bit because you're assuming his skill has stayed constant. I also think it's simplistic just to use his save percentage as a blanket statement ("he only saved 91% of shots he sucks") because you aren't taking into account the fact he's played with a bunch of different teams and had a relatively wide spread of SV%s. (which is consistent with work that suggests SV% sustainability is largely influenced by team skill/quality). (http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=558)

More to my point, we're talking about the backup goalie - who will play 10-20 games max next year unless something crazy happens. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. The difference between MacDonald and anyone they would have signed elsewhere as a backup is probably nominal/be swamped by random variance.

"More to my point, we're talking about the backup goalie - who will play 10-20 games max next year unless something crazy happens. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. The difference between MacDonald and anyone they would have signed elsewhere as a backup is probably nominal/be swamped by random variance."

So, what you are saying is that they probably could have done at least as well (possibly a bit better) by waiting and seeing what else is available this summer, but that's OK because JMac isn't a whole lot worse then some of those options would be?

That is just SAD.

And as for the possibility of something "crazy" happening....this is the CGY Flames!

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#57 RexLibris
April 21 2013, 08:29AM
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The list of pending goaltender UFAs this summer is Backstrom, Khabibulin, Mike Smith, Theodore, Nabokov, Chris Mason, Garon, Emery, Boucher, Dan Ellis, Anton Khudobin and Michael Leighton - to name a few.

Signing Joey MacDonald is not a priority when a great many options of at the very least equal value, if not better, are certain to make it to market.

If the stated goal of the organization is to make the playoffs next season, waiting until the off-season to pick from a greater pool of candidates are available, would seem to be the wiser choice.

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#58 meat1
April 21 2013, 08:55AM
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@ Rex Libris

Bang on.

This signing reminds me of late last June, when our fearless leader re-signed Sarich BEFORE free agency began. And overpaid him. For two seasons. And a no-trade clause. Sarich could have been signed August 15 for half the money, half the term, with no contract restrictions. Or, um, not signed at all.

This rushed signing of Joey Mac, to me, is the same. We certainly had until July 1 to get a feel for what other goalie options were out there, and much like Sarich, we more than likely had until August to play this card. It is not like he has played his way into 'elite, highly sought after' status.

All of this roster flexibility we are bragging about for this summer won't be here if we keep making decisions like Feaster has made since day one.

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#59 ?
April 21 2013, 10:31AM
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I don't get why people think Joey Macdonald is a good backup. The guys positioning is not too good in net, he gives up huge rebounds, and he's slow moving across laterally. The Jason Pominville goal the other night showed how Mac overplays on certain shots, and also showed how he's too slow getting across the crease. Alot of his game is just desperation, and he ends a shot on his rear end too much for my liking.

I've thought Danny Taylor was the most sensible option as the backup this season, not just from the numbers but just from watching him. Taylors 2 games came against PHX, when the Flames got shut out, and VAN, when he shut down the Cansucks. He was also playing well in the minors, and I think its a shame that he didn't get a legit shot here in CGY, because if this is "meritocracy", he should've been the full time backup, not Irving, not JoeyMac.

As Rex mentioned above, there were also many goalies slated to go UFA this summer, and most of them are better than Mac. If the Flames had been patient and waited for the summer, they might have been able to do what Pittsburgh did, which was sign a guy like Tomas Vokoun for extremely cheap.

Anyways, not a huge deal, but just another move that makes me scratch my head. Seems like CGY is content to keep retaining over the hill, mediocre pieces like Sarich and Macdonald instead of trying to find a bargain in Free Agency.

EDIT: canucks suck

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#60 mattyc
April 21 2013, 10:52AM
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@Eddie Shore

I'd assume Ramo unless Kipprusoff comes back next year.

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#61 mattyc
April 21 2013, 10:55AM
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@suba steve

haha crazy IS a possibility!

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#62 Q
April 21 2013, 11:20AM
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@?

BACK UP. That's the key right? Joeys been solid as a backup. He's a great guy who brings positivity and energy to threat too!

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#63 Q
April 21 2013, 11:22AM
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@Q

Sorry... I meant, "to the team too.

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#64 RexLibris
April 21 2013, 11:24AM
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@meat1

While this may get a mixed response from fans, what about the following scenario viewed from the perspective of management's stated goal of a rebound season: the Canucks buy out Luongo this July.

If you were to add Luongo to the current list of UFA goalies that would certainly deepen the pool of available talent.

This is either a case of a management team disconnected from reality, or whose statements do not represent their actual goal.

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#65 schevvy
April 21 2013, 11:41AM
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@RexLibris

No to Luongo. But it's not a terrible idea if the price is right. If Ramo does not come over for some reason, then if the team wanted to look at signing a bought-out Luongo, I wouldn't be upset.

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#66 Kevin R
April 21 2013, 01:20PM
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It's a 1 year freaking deal. We have Berra & Ramo & both could fail miserably. Its a contract we can bury in Abbottsford if he plays like crap or Ramo & Berra dont work out & we bring in a bigger name goalie in. If Luongo were bought out, no way he even lands in Calgary to play craps at the casino let alone think of playing here. Goalie isnt our issue next year. Feaster needs to focus on using his cap space to acquire some RFA's on D & forward/centre that are NHL ready enough to have a opportunity to play and become our potential future core. I'm talking guys like Henrique where Jersey needs to give up a 1st to the league this year or next. That Pitt 1st may be a valuable piece for them as part of an Henrique deal. Mac is the least of our worries. I'm sure Ramo & Berra are going to get a real close looksey despite Mac being signed.

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#67 loudogYYC
April 21 2013, 03:17PM
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1 year deals are the way to go when it comes to veterans next season. If your focus isn't veterans, then why dip into the UFA pool to "improve" a low priority roster spot? This to me looks like a case of better the devil you know.

Trust me, I have a hard time defending the moves Faster has made. This one however, doesn't have much downside.

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#68 Steve Macfarlane
April 22 2013, 09:30AM
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Next year's situation should be interesting sans Kiprusoff. Going with a younger team and possibly two Euro goalies battling for No. 1/2 spots, you need a veteran presence. Joey has the kind of personality they want in a backup, and the skills to be a spot starter, so I think they just wanted to make sure they have that element as soon as possible. Helps that he came from a place like Detroit with a winning tradition. Hard to attract free agents to a rebuild come July and August.

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#69 everton fc
April 22 2013, 10:00AM
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meat1 wrote:

@ Rex Libris

Bang on.

This signing reminds me of late last June, when our fearless leader re-signed Sarich BEFORE free agency began. And overpaid him. For two seasons. And a no-trade clause. Sarich could have been signed August 15 for half the money, half the term, with no contract restrictions. Or, um, not signed at all.

This rushed signing of Joey Mac, to me, is the same. We certainly had until July 1 to get a feel for what other goalie options were out there, and much like Sarich, we more than likely had until August to play this card. It is not like he has played his way into 'elite, highly sought after' status.

All of this roster flexibility we are bragging about for this summer won't be here if we keep making decisions like Feaster has made since day one.

Bang on twice! We re-sign Sarich, overpay him, then leave him in the press box.

We are deep in goal, in terms of prospects. I look at Backstrom, and others on the list Rex gave, and see potential. All that said, it's only one year, and can be buried in the minors.

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#70 Justin Azevedo
April 22 2013, 02:34PM
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@mattyc

past three seasons avg evsv were all close to replacement level too. there is nothing to suggest he's a goalie of nhl-quality.

also, in that link: the important passage is:

40.7% skill 12.6% sh quality 46.7% luck

so you're telling me that over the course of three years, something that makes up 6/100 of a goaltender's game can make him echl-level or a consistent quality starter?

come on, man.

http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.ca/2008/11/shots-attempts-against.html

http://vhockey.blogspot.ca/2009/07/shot-quality-fantasy.html

sv% is not linked to a team a player plays for. it is linked to the player himself.

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#71 Primo
April 22 2013, 04:03PM
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Yup..a 33 year old journeyman who allows huge rebounds and plays outstanding in non-meaningful games. I think the signing is partially justified only because Ramo and Bera are far from proven at the NHL level.

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#72 messyEH!
April 22 2013, 04:03PM
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Having grown up playing against Joey and going to school with him. I can tell you. Joey works hard. He is a solid and humble guy. There is a very good reason Detroit has signed him as a free agent on 3 seperate occasions. Stats don't register the intangibles like character. I have no doubt that Joey is a good guy to have in the room.

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