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.