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Andrew MacDonald waived by the Philadelphia Flyers

After one season of a six year, $30 million contract, Andrew MacDonald has been waived by Ron Hextall and the Philadelphia Flyers. Wow.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

On April 15, 2014, the Philadelphia Flyers signed defenseman Andrew MacDonald to a six-year, $30 million contract, apparently signifying that he would be a core member of the team for the foreseeable future.

After only one season under the contract, Ron Hextall and the Flyers have seen enough.

Hextall announced this morning that the team placed MacDonald on waivers with the intent of sending him to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. 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.

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. Immediately, rumors flew that the team would place Schenn on waivers, rumors that we addressed and refuted at BSH.

It never made much sense for the team to waive Schenn. With one year left on his contract, Schenn would likely have been scooped up by a team looking for veteran depth on their blueline. It also would have been out of character for Hextall to lose an asset like Schenn for nothing.

On the other hand, waiving MacDonald comes with far less risk. With five years and $25 million left on his contract, it is highly unlikely that any team will pick him up. And if a team does choose to claim the defenseman, the Flyers lose a crippling contract off their books.

The most likely scenario is that MacDonald clears waivers, and is sent to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, at least to start the season. The Flyers would gain $950,000 of cap relief in return for stashing MacDonald in the minors.

It's a surprising decision, but definitely a justifiable one. From day one, the MacDonald extension was questionable, and his poor play throughout last season resulted in multiple benchings. His struggles in the neutral zone and in preventing offensive zone entries were broken down on numerous occasions at BSH.

Today, Ron Hextall sent a message that large contracts will not outweigh performance and proper asset management in his decision-making process. Now, the Flyers will wait a little over 24 hours to see if MacDonald's next stop will be Lehigh Valley, or another team entirely.