With the NHL roster freeze on during the Olympics, Andrew MacDonald will remain as a member of the New York Islanders for the next two weeks. But for how much longer remains a source for discussion.
The 27-year-old defenseman is in his sixth season with the Islanders – the last four have been on a full-time basis – and has four goals and 24 points in 60 games in 2013-14. But his time with that franchise appears to be nearing an end, especially after he recently declined a four-year, $16 million contract offer from the Islanders.
A report came out in January stating MacDonald wants $5 million per season. MacDonald is in the final year of a four-year contract that has a cap hit of $550,000 a season. He’s also a pending unrestricted free agent. So, you can see how the trade talk would begin circulating.
This part of the business isn’t lost on MacDonald, even during this break in the NHL schedule.
“It’s not exactly what you want to be going through,” MacDonald told Newsday Long Island. “I’m sure it’ll cross my mind during the break, but that’s time to get away from it all and, when I’m back, it’s back to business, no matter what happens.
“I’m an Islander and this is where I want to be. That’s all you can think for now.”
The Florida Panthers had a bit of a scare during the 2016 World Cup when defenseman Aaron Ekblad, while playing for Team North America, was injured in a first-round game against Finland that kept him out for the remainder of the tournament.
On Saturday, Ekblad was back on the ice for the Panthers doing some individual workouts following the injury.
“Ekblad is going to be fine,” Panthers coach Gerard Galant said, via Alain Poupart of NHL.com. “You see him out there skating already. I think it was a little scary, but he feels real good. He’s going to skate and see how he feels, but everything looks good.”
It was initially reported that Ekblad had a concussion, but it was later reported to be a neck injury.
The Panthers haven’t been overly concerned with the injury over the past week.
Ekblad, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has quickly become one of the franchise building blocks for a Panthers team that is on the rise in the Eastern Conference.
Still only 20 years old, he is already a top-pairing defenseman in the league and has scored 27 goals in his career, a number that is pretty much unheard of for a defenseman that young.
After winning the Atlantic Division in 2015-16 and having a busy offseason that saw them add Keith Yandle and Jason Demers to their defense, the Panthers look like they could be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season and Ekblad is going to be a major part of that.
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Unfortunately for the Bruins they will have to wait a few months before he gets an opportunity to make an impact.
The team announced on Saturday that Vatrano is going to require surgery to repair torn ligaments in his foot and is expected to miss at least three months.
General manager Don Sweeney said that Vatrano was injured in his training in preparation for the team’s training camp.
Vatrano appeared in 39 games for the Bruins in 2015-16 season and scored eight goals, including a hat trick in an early season win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He spent the rest of his season playing for Providence of the American Hockey League where he scored a league leading 36 goals in only 36 games. Just for some perspective on that goal total, only one other player in the league scored 30 goals for the entire season, and that was Chris Bourque who scored 30 in 72 games.
The Dallas Stars’ run of injuries hasn’t ended even with the World Cup of Hockey winding down.
Training camps are starting up, so that’s a new way that the team can encounter bad luck, and it didn’t take much time for the hits to keep coming. Cody Eakin suffered a lower-body injury that’s apparently bad enough to sideline him for six weeks, according to the team.
That same announcement revealed that Devin Shore will miss “some time.”