Andy McDonald has been a part of the St. Louis Blues organization since the 2007-08 season, and up until 2013 had been one of the team’s most consistent scorers. He came into the lockout-shortened season with the biggest cap hit of any forward, yet managed only seven goals and 21 points in 37 games. He’s now 35 years old with a history of concussion and injury setbacks, and with a need for cap space to retain their young talent the Blues would be best served in not pursuing him for another season.
McDonald is set to be an unrestricted free agent, as the four-year deal he got from the Blues has finally run out. He had back-to-back seasons of 20 or more goals and 50 or more points, but started to decline two season ago. The Blues already have Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund to try and re-sign up front, and young stars Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo to think about on the blue line. McDonald’s $4.7 million cap hit could easily be spread out to give the two young defenseman the raises they are looking for, and would set the Blues up very well for the future.
McDonald may choose to retire, and that wouldn’t be the worst decision. There should be no way he sees a contract as big as his last one, and the risk of further injury may sway him from joining another team. In 685 career games, he has scored 182 goals and has 489 points. If he plays another season and can stay healthy, he should be able to pass the 500 point mark without too much trouble, and he may still be able to help a contending team. Unfortunately for the Blues, he’s no longer a good fit.