The New York Islanders decided to make a move this week, trading away main defensemen Mark Streit. That leaves a major hole in the defense for the Islanders going forward. There is going to need to be a new player who steps up with Streit now gone. That player must be Andrew MacDonald. MacDonald recorded only 12 points this season, including three goals in 48 games for the Islanders, but he is the player who should be taking Streit’s place.
I know that the numbers weren’t very good, and that is why MacDonald needs to work more in the offseason at becoming more of an offensive threat. He is 26 years old now and just finished his fifth year in the NHL. There must be improvement at some point before you start thinking that a player is a bust. He will be recovering from a broken hand this offseason that he suffered in the playoffs, so that may hamper some of his training.
In my opinion, this is a critical offseason for MacDonald. He will be in the final year of his contract and must prove that he is worth keeping around with a new deal. He has only scored 13 goals during his career, so a season where he scores 20 points with six or seven goals may be enough to show improvement. This is an Islanders team that appears to be streaking straight towards playoff contention every season, and the time has come for new defensemen to step up. I will be watching with great interest to see if MacDonald can make the next step.