Joey MacDonald Hits the Waiver Wire



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.

    • piscera.infada

      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!

    • piscera.infada

      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.

  • ngthagg

    @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.

  • beloch

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

    1. Hartley is a
    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.

    • BurningSensation

      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

      • SmellOfVictory

        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.

        • seve927

          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.

          • T&A4Flames

            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

          • 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.

          • SmellOfVictory

            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.

        • BurningSensation

          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.

          • EugeneV

            out of cap hell? you remember that as soon as feaster got rid of that 4 million he signed alex tanguay to a 5 x 3.5 million contract, right?

            they were in the exact same position cap wise.

    • SmellOfVictory

      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).

  • acg5151

    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.

  • aloudoun

    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 🙂

  • ngthagg

    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.

    • acg5151

      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)

  • ChinookArchYYC

    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.

    • acg5151

      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.

  • ngthagg

    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.

  • SmellOfVictory

    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.

  • 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

  • EugeneV


    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.

  • MattyFranchise

    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.

  • MattyFranchise

    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!