Sunday: MacDonald has officially cleared waivers and will officially be bought out, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Saturday: Today is the first day teams can begin the process of buying out players and the first casualty is Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald. The team announced (Twitter link) that they have placed the blueliner on unconditional waivers for the purposes of terminating his contract.
The move doesn’t come as too much surprise as his contract has been on the high side for quite a few years as he failed to make the type of impact the team had hoped for after they signed him to a six-year, $30MM deal back in 2014. With that contract having just one year remaining on it, the buyout route is much more palatable now and they are wasting little time going down that path.
The cost of the buyout on Philadelphia’s salary cap is as follows:
Considering he had a $5MM AAV, the buyout will save the Flyers roughly $3.833MM for next season which certainly isn’t an insignificant amount given that they are trying to sign recently-acquired Kevin Hayes as well as RFAs Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov, and Travis Konecny, among others.
After playing a mostly regular role in Philadelphia’s lineup over the past couple of seasons, that changed in 2018-19. While he missed six games due to a lower-body injury, he was also scratched 29 times and didn’t make much of an impact when he was in the lineup, averaging a career-low 16:24 of ice time per game.
The 32-year-old was once a capable stay-at-home defenseman but as the league has transitioned to more mobile and offensive-minded defenders, his value has diminished. Nonetheless, with the UFA market not being particularly deep, MacDonald could still garner a look from a few teams in free agency in a depth role but it will have to come at a significant pay cut from what he made during his time with the Flyers.