Isles name MacDonald alternate captain

The New York Islanders named defenseman Andrew MacDonald an alternate captain on Wednesday, adding him to a leadership group that includes fellow alternate Kyle Okposo and captain John Tavares.

“Great for the team and good for the organization, especially for the younger guys coming up,” fellow Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic told the team website. “[MacDonald’s] been one of those guys that we look up to every year and plays a lot of minutes for us, does a lot of good things on the ice and in the locker room.”

MacDonald, 27, was an integral component of New York’s success last year, appearing in all 48 regular season contests while racking up 12 points, averaging a team-high 23:31 per game and finished third in the NHL in blocked shots (123).

It’ll be curious to see how his appointment as an alternate plays into his contractual status. MacDonald’s been one of the league’s best bargains over the last few years, playing on a four-year, $2.2 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $550,000.

That deal is set to expire at the end of the season, so it would stand to reason the captaincy is part of New York’s overall plan to retain MacDonald beyond this season.

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