Everyone take a deep breath and relax. The Flames will no doubt have more PTO signings as training camp begins to appear on the horizon and Andrew MacDonald is a start. Today the Flames offered the 32 year old Nova Scotia native a PTO after he spent the last six seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.
#Flames Training Camp Update: Defenceman Andrew MacDonald will attend camp on a professional try-out agreement. pic.twitter.com/jNa5BuWY8a— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) August 22, 2019
Why does this make some sense? Because he’s a defenceman and the loss of Juuso Valimaki is still a fresh wound for the Flames. There’s a good chance MacDonald will be in a battle with Oliver Kylington and for the sixth and final spot on the Flames blue line as camp winds down.
Kylington performed admirably last season and should have every chance to keep or hold on to a spot that he earned in 2019-20. What MacDonald offers that Kylington doesn’t is experience. Andrew MacDonald has 586 NHL games under his belt, whereas Oliver Kylington only has 39 games at the NHL level. Where the 22 year old Flames defenceman could have potential advantage is in familiarity. The Flames have a rough idea what they have in Kylington and that could, combined with a solid preseason, give him a leg up in the race for that final spot.
Either way, adding MacDonald makes sense for the Flames and a little competition in camp isn’t a bad thing. Where it could be a downside is the Flames tend to hold onto their PTO players for a little too long and as evidenced in the past, they don’t typically work out. Last season in Philadelphia MacDonald played in 47 games and had nine points (all assists), seven of which came on the PP. In 11 NHL seasons MacDonald has 161 career points, but is also a -11 overall.
Take it for what it is: he’s a camp body or someone brought in to push a young player. One way or another this isn’t the end of the world. Breath.