The NHL trade deadline has historically multiplied players' worth tenfold. For whatever reason, contending teams feel they need pieces to ensure continued winning. And the result is they're usually willing to pay a little more than normal for said pieces.
While appreciative of his prior years of service, many Islanders fans believe it's time for the team and defenseman Andrew MacDonald to part ways. The impending unrestricted free agent has had a rough season while playing the seventh-highest average TOI in the NHL.
What the Islanders can expect in return for MacDonald if traded at the deadline has been a source for debate. While we tend to believe his value may have taken a hit based on his mixed play this season, based on past deadline trades, that probably isn't the case.
Here are three 2013 Trade Deadline(ish) deals of defenseman that may set the bar for what we can expect in return for MacDonald:
1. Sabres trade D Robyn Regehr to the Kings for 2014 and 2015 2nd-Round Picks
The 33 year old Regehr has never been known for his defense. At the time of his trade to Los Angeles, Regehr had all of 2 points and had only mustered 15 shots on goal in 29 games played.
His defense wasn't exactly stellar either Regehr boarded a plane for Los Angeles ranking next to last for Sabres defensemen in both Corsi (39%) and Fenwick (37.3%). Those numbers actually place Regehr next to last among all NHL defensemen who had played at least half their teams games.
Even with those dreadful stats, Buffalo managed to coax not one, but two second-round draft picks out of the Kings.
2. Sabres Trade D Jordan Leopold to the Blues for a 2013 2nd- and 5th-Round Pick
Leopold wasn't exactly tearing it up for Buffalo either at the time of his trade to St. Louis. His possession numbers were only slightly better than Regehr's, still ranking in the bottom half of the Sabres defense in both Corsi (42.6%) and Fenwick (42.9%).
At least Leopold, 32, came with a history of offense. Prior to last season, Leopold had a couple good seasons with the Sabres, including a 35 point effort in 2010-11.
But at the trade deadline last year, Leopold offensive numbers had slipped a bit (2g, 6a), making the Sabres return of a second- and fifth-round pick highly respectable.
3. Sharks Trade D Douglas Murray to the Penguins for a 2013 2nd-Round Pick and a 2014 Conditional 2nd-Round Pick
Unless Ray Shero had a crystal ball and foresaw Murray's two goals against the Islanders in the first round of the playoffs last year, two second round picks was a lot to fork over for the big 33-year old Swedish defenseman.
In fact, Murray had only scored multiple goals once in an entire season before last years playoffs. At the time of his trade he had all of zero, and only three helpers.
But Murray's contributions are more his size and his...ahem...defense, particularly on the penalty kill. His defense was something the Sharks could live without though, seeing Murray's possession numbers ranked him dead last among Sharks defenseman.
AMac's Trade Value May Surprise
Truth be told, even if we see red every time MacDonald makes a boneheaded play in an Islanders uniform, he is still better than the three guys mentioned above, and his value around the league should be higher for a variety of reasons:
- MacDonald's current pace to set a career high in points only makes him look more valuable to the rest of the league.
- The fact that he eats minutes, no matter what he does with those minutes, seems to intrigue others.
- His cap hit allows him to fit on any team's roster.
- The fact that he's 6 years younger than the guys traded above only adds to his perceived value.
Would adding players in a MacDonald trade be more beneficial to the Islanders than adding picks? Sure.
But when trading an impending free agent like MacDonald -- by definition to a team that is looking to add bodies rather than subtract from its roster -- a return of draft picks and/or prospects is more likely. For MacDonald, a 2nd-rounder plus more should be a good -- and achievable -- return.