Professional tryout season is here and the Calgary Flames are willing to give it a shot. The team announced today that veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald will attend their training camp on a PTO, giving them a potential depth option to sign closer to the season. Calgary of course recently lost Juuso Valimaki to a major knee injury, forcing them to look externally for another defensive option. A professional tryout does not guarantee MacDonald a contract, or keep him from signing a deal with another NHL team.
MacDonald, 32, was once a reliable defenseman for the New York Islanders, so good that he earned himself a six-year, $30MM deal in 2014 from the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately things quickly went downhill in Phialdelphia, to the point of a buyout of the last year of the deal in June. MacDonald will earn nearly $2MM in each of the next two seasons meaning he might be willing to take a minimum salary if the Flames decide he’s good enough to add some depth to the roster.
Whether he is still effective enough is still not decided however. In 47 games with the Flyers last season MacDonald recorded just nine points and posted poor possession numbers once again. He was used sparingly even when he did get into the lineup, not something that inspires confidence that he’ll be able to help the Flames this season. Of course, Calgary might not be looking for someone to play every day. The team still has a solid six names penciled into the starting roster even with Valimaki out, though T.J. Brodie’s name has been in trade speculation for some time. The team still needs to sign Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane and could need some extra cap space if looking at a long-term deal for the former.