That was Andrew MacDonald’s reaction, according to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, when told Monday morning he was being waived.
MacDonald, 29, is the team’s final cut before their season opener on Thursday night in Tampa Bay.
On Saturday, coach Dave Hakstol had MacDonald and Luke Schenn on the fourth pairing at practice, implying that neither would be in the opening night lineup.
Including this season, MacDonald has five years left on his six-year, $30 million deal. Nikitin has one year left at a cap hit of $4.5 million; Scrivens has a year left at $2.3 million. He’s a lock to clear waivers and be loaned to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, a transition that gives the Flyers $950,000 in cap relief but has them taking on the rest.
“It was a tough decision”, Hextall said. It will cost the team $4.05 million against the cap to have MacDonald play in the American League.
The Flyers acquired MacDonald from the New York Islanders late in the 2013-14 season. He was a pending unrestricted free agent earning $550,000 as an Islander. “To be able to play with them for half the year last year and be familiar with them, I think that takes a lot and I’m just comfortable with the puck and things like that”.
VOORHEES Andrew MacDonald’s going down on the farm. “All we know is that he was really respected by his teammates and he’s definitely an National Hockey League player”.
“Is it what we wanted to do?” “No. If we could have avoided it, we would have”.
“Hard work’s just begun and I’m excited for the opportunity”, said Laughton, who was drafted 20th overall by the Flyers in 2012.
“We tried to do a few things but you can only do what you do”, Hextall said.
“I’m convinced at a few point he’ll be back here and be a productive player for us”, Hextall said. “You have to balance your cap and everything else”.
Hextall said MacDonald was “shocked” when he gave the player the news, “but he’s a pro”. That would only happen if there were an injury. This solves the team’s roster crunch, and essentially announces that Scott Laughton, Luke Schenn, Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning will all be on the team’s final roster.
“It’s opening night roster and Scotty pushed hard”, Hextall said.