Flames re-sign MacDonald


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.


  • RexLibris


    I was going to comment on that redundancy aspect there, but I see you covered it in the article.

    Redundancy indeed.

    This is going to come across as facetious, and it partially is, but history suggests that the question needs to be asked: any trade clauses on the contract?

  • Wizard22

    I wonder if this is more an indication of the internal rebuild timeline? If we go into next season with Kipper retired and no true #1 goalie you’d think that would be an indication that management is accepting the fact that a mini retool is delusion and that we have at least another solid year of losing ahead.

    I’m ok with that, i think its the right plan. But if thats the plan why cant they be honest with us… if their actions indicate a slow rebuild plan and they keep talking about playoffs next year it’s pathetic and I think insulting to us fans. I believe we’d all get on board and be excited about a properly laid out plan even if it was longer than some would like.

    • Colin.S

      Taylor is done after this year and won’t resign with the FLames is my guess, with this log jam of mediocre goalie talent, my guess is he takes his contract else where in hopes of a better situation.

      • mattyc

        yeah fair enough. again – meh. none of these guys are going to measurably change the flames’ season next year. I’m a lot more concerned with who will be starting the games next year. I’d imagine Broissot has a spot in Abby, and I’m not sure where Ortio’s been playing, but is he even a prospect anymore? So Berra probably plays in the AHL next year and we have a Kipper/MacD or Ramo/MacD tandem. Sounds alright, but like what’s been said already, if we are going with a Ramo/MacD tandem (which seems most likely IMO) then it would have been nice to have a little more insurance in a better goalie. I suppose they can always waive/send someone back to europe.

  • Colin.S

    Yeah this move makes little to no sense, more so because of timing than anything I guess.

    So we will have Broissott, Berra, Ortio and MacDonald under contract next year……

    Well if didn’t try hard enough to tank this year we sure are going to be next year. I think this is the writing on he wall that Ramo is NOT coming over. He has a good thing in the KHL why ruin it, he’s been there four years, I think its going to take some serious dollars and years to bring him over and I don’t think the FLames after the cervenka experiment are willing to do that again.

    Guess maybe Feaster thinks that the more goalies they have the better chance that one of them doesn’t suck?

    Guess we are waiting till Gillies comes out of COllege then?

  • supra steve

    I have been a soft supporter of Feaster. The team has drafted better under him. Also, I believe he got about as much as he could for Iggy and JBo under the circumstances he was handed.

    However, a lot of his signings have left me puzzled.

    1. Babchuk is signed for 2yr $2.5/yr, and right from day one Sutter has him in the press box. Did Feaster even consult with his coach on the value of Babs before the signing? I sure as heck would have.

    2. Sarich signed 2yr $2.0/yr with NMC till Dec 31/2013. Sarich also spent time as a healthy scratch last year, this one was also tough for me to understand. One yr at $2 would have been easier to swallow, but still puzzling.

    3. MacDonald, I agree that there was probably no big hurry to sign him. Only one yr at reasonable $$ so that’s not the problem. But the crease is getting crowded at this point so I guess we assume Taylor and Irving are gone and we are now left with Berra, Brossoit, MacD, Ortio, and (hopefully) Ramo? And exactly how many of these are a clear upgrade on Taylor?

    Anyway, my support of Feaster is…softer still.

  • Wizard22

    This shows me once again that Feaster has no idea what he is doing. The only upside of this move is that it will likely means that Flames management is expecting another year of mediocrity in 2013-14, which will help build Calgary’s prospect pool.

  • RexLibris

    What’s that he said about no “post-apex” players? You really can’t take anything he says seriously. He’s just spewing catchy phrases and fluffy quotable junk. He will do whatever he feels, not what he says.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    The Flames have appeared to look desperate in their search for a new starter for next season. They were rumoured to be pushing hard for M. Suban for Iginla, and wound up with a questionable prospect in Bera for Bouwmeester. To me it looks a replay of this current season: bring in 3 goalies to training camp, pick two and flip the unchosen one to a buyer for a 7th rounder. So, I actually think the timing is fine. If the Flames find someone else they’ll simply invite 4 goalies to camp.

    I’ve been saying for weeks now that I suspect Ramo is not coming. I now think it’s just likely the Flames don’t have confidence in any of their choices for a #1 goalie, or back up for that matter. If the Flames don’t find a replacement level stopper, it’s going to be a long and ugly season next year.

    • RKD

      If Ramo isn’t coming here, then why was he trying to get out of his KHL contract last year? Didn’t he say if he wasn’t signed last season he would have come to Flames camp? Why hasn’t he signed a new deal in the KHL?

      He wants to come here and be the starter, if Kipper does retire then I think we see Ramo as the starter and MacDonald as backup.

      Signing Joey Mac may not have been the best hockey move, but he’s liked in the dressing room. They are trying to change the culture so I don’t think having a guy like Ray Emery here would help the locker room. Emery might be a changed guy but there’s always the potential he could be a headcase.

      Mac is prone to bad rebounds and getting shellacked every now and again but he’s given us a chance to be in games which is more than a lot of backups the past decade or so haven’t been able to.

  • loudogYYC

    Joey Mac is the new Noodles! Except they forgot to lock up a legitimate starting goalie first.

    I’m actually ok with the signing, it’s a rebuild and they’re already taking a risk with at least 1 KHL goalie, so may as well have a reliable, known quantity in MacDonald.

  • Mullen Mania

    My concern is that Feaster needs to watch his number of NHL contracts as flexibility could be the key to taking advantage of the cap space this offseason.

    I agree that the timing does not make any sense and would indicate that Kipper is not returning. It would also suggest that Flames management assess MacDonald to be something more than a run of the mill backup. While MacDonald has played well in his expected role, for a team that is re..tooling a younger option with more upside would make more sense.

    I always feel like I just can’t determine what Feaster’s plan is, but I really hope he has one. what happened to no post apex players?