About a week ago, PHT asked how large of a raise New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald might receive with his next deal. That much is still very much in question, but New York Newsday has word on what he wants: $5 million per year.
Understatement: that’s a pretty big jump from $550K per season.
The Islanders are likely aware that the 27-year-old is far more important than a minimum wage guy, but Newsday also reports that there haven’t been any discussions lately between the Islanders and MacDonald’s agent Peter Cooney. The reason for the silence is simple: they’re reportedly uninterested in paying such a price.
From the Islanders perspective, they’re a budget team brimming with blueliners who could (potentially) fill the void if MacDonald were to leave.
MacDonald isn’t the kind of player who draws a lot of mainstream buzz, but he’s carrying the workload of a player who does.
He averages a team-leading 25:58 minutes per game, a full minute more than Travis Hamonic (who signed a seven-year, $27 million deal, but as a restricted free agent). Only four defensemen average more ice time per game than MacDonald this season: Ryan Suter, Brian Campbell, Erik Karlsson and Shea Weber. The “cheapest” player of that foursome is Karlsson at $6.5 million per season.
MacDonald already has 23 points in 52 games played, putting himself on pace for a healthy 36-point season to go with his heavy defensive responsibilities.
The takeaway is that MacDonald has a strong case for a raise, but he might just need to take that argument elsewhere.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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