Photo credit: Kathy Willens/The Associated Press
Winnipeg Free Press Online Edition

The Philadelphia Flyers made a couple of deals at the NHL Trade Deadline, but not the big “headline” deal that the organization is known for pulling off.

In the first trade, the Flyers acquired defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2014 third round draft pick, a 2015 second round draft pick and center Matt Mangene.  MacDonald can skate and is willing to give up his body to block a shot.  He has 198 blocked shots this year.

MacDonald logs a lot of ice time per game since he was playing even strength, on the power play and on the penalty kill for the Islanders.  He played on one of the worst defensive teams in the league, and is a minus 19 on the season.  He’ll be reunited with fellow defenseman Mark Streit, and maybe the change of scenery will be a good thing for the 27 year-old defenseman.  Luke Schenn will finally have a steady defensive partner and that could help his play be more consistent.

If MacDonald needs any motivation to play better then maybe being in the middle of the playoff race will help.  The Flyers currently sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

MacDonald is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.  The Flyers will most likely overpay for the mediocre defenseman because that it what they are know for doing.

In the second trade, defenseman Andrej Meszaros was sent to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional third round draft pick in 2014.  After acquiring MacDonald, the Flyers had nine defensemen on the roster and had to move one of them.

Meszaros was splitting time with fellow defenseman Erik Gustafsson this season.  The Flyers cleared $4 million in cap space by moving Meszaros.  He likes to jump into the play and has five goals in 38 games played this season.  He can play physical, and the Flyers used him on the second power play unit.  The defenseman isn’t the fastest skater in the league.

There was no need to try and pull off the big deal unless it was for a number one defenseman.  The Flyers have been one of the best teams in the NHL since November 8.  The lines seem like they have some good chemistry, and are comfortable playing with each other.

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