At the beginning of the season I would have thought that it might in the St. Louis Blues best interest to re-sign Andy McDonald to a one year deal at a much lower salary, but after watching him this season I no longer feel the same way.
McDonald has always struggled with injuries while in St. Louis, but when he was on the ice he produced game in and game out. His speed and hockey sense really shined through in past seasons, but this year something has been missing. Aside from shootout glory, McDonald hasn’t looked as fast or strong on the puck. He seems to be fearful heading into plays which has made him even less useful in the series against the Kings.
Now, with the St. Louis Blues down 3-2 in the series, maybe it is time to sit the veteran in place of one of the Blues future stars. If McDonald was swapped out for Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues would be adding size and not sacrificing speed or ability. Tarasenko’s only NHL playoff games was limited to just over 5 minutes of play which was not even enough for him to get acclimated to the play.
The real question though whether or not the Blues force a game 7 tonight will be the value of Andy McDonald. As an unrestricted free-agent this offseason, McDonald will almost certainly be searching for a new home. At the NHL trade deadline this season, the Blues did not try to move McDonald having the confidence that he would be useful if the team was to reach to postseason. Now that other teams have seen that he cannot play a major role against a physical team like the Kings, what might his future hold?
Although Andy Mac’s play hasn’t been what it once was, I don’t think it is time for him to hang up the skates. What McDonald is going to have to do is to find a new role with a new team. Playing on a third line or a fourth line might benefit McDonald’s numbers and help him to be a bigger asset to a team.
So Blues fans, what do you think of Andy McDonald? Where do you think he will wind up and how much do you think he is worth? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.
LET’S GO BLUES!