Andy McDonald, long heralded as the Blues’ best playmaker and signature power player, will become a free agent in 2013 after his four-year 18.8 million dollar deal. The question for the St. Louis front office is, should they re-sign the 35 year-old McDonald to a multi-year deal that effectively would end his career with the Blues, or allow him to walk and lose a player that was instrumental to the power play and the playoff run. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of resigning Andy McDonald-
McDonald has been a consistent point getter for the Blues since he arrived in 2007, garnering at least 35 points in four of five seasons in St. Louis. Further, he has great creativity on the power play, and gelled with the current unit when he was healthy. McDonald provides a veteran presence to a very young team that is just starting to realize its potential, and his leadership along with David Backes would be a great benefit to the roster. Perhaps McDonald’s greatest contribution could be in the playoffs, as he tallied 10 points in only nine postseason games last season.
The biggest cons to resigning McDonald are his age and his propensity for injury, as he missed at least 20 games in four of five seasons, and played in only 25 games last season. Further, at age 35, his best hockey years are definitely behind him, and a multi-year deal for McDonald could compromise the flexibility of the front office in the future. With contracts to Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, and possibly Kris Russell.
The Blues may decide that the risks of signing McDonald outweigh the rewards of bringing him back, and I would have to agree with this assessment. It is more important to maintain flexibility to fill future problem areas, and unfortunately McDonald’s past concussions and decline in production make him an impossible sign.