Roberto Luongo will be traded once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached between the NHL and the Players’ Assocation and the Vancouver Canucks will need a new backup goaltender for Cory Schneider.
MacDonald re-signed with the Detroit Red Wings in July 2010 for two years worth $550,000 per season. The first year in 2011-12 was one-way and the second year is one-way. MacDonald signed the contract under the assumption he would be the Red Wings backup this season.
Despite working on a two-way contract in 2011-12 season, MacDonald displaced incumbent backup Ty Conklin in February and was due to finish the season as the Red Wings backup. However, he suffered a partially herniated disc in his back in early April and ended up sitting out the rest of the season. He compiled a record of 8-5-1 in 14 games with a 2.16 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
Even though MacDonald posted good numbers, the Red Wings chose to go another direction this past summer and signed free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. MacDonald subsequently requested a trade knowing he is the odd man out in Detroit.
Carrying three goaltenders is never an ideal situation for any hockey team since it is difficult to give equal attention and time at practice to all goaltenders. MacDonald is expected to be placed on waivers.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has not been shy in the past to put players on waivers if there is no room for them on the roster. In 2008, Holland willingly placed defenceman Kyle Quincey on waivers even though he was one of the team’s top defence prospects.
MacDonald carries a cheap cap hit at $550,000 and his contract expires at the end of the season giving the Canucks flexibility.
Eddie Lack is expected to take the next step in his development next season and become the backup to Schneider. His two-year contract signed this summer becomes a one-way contract starting next season.