As you have surely heard by now, the Flyers have made their final roster move of the preseason, and it's a doozy -- they have waived defenseman Andrew MacDonald with the intention to send him to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
GM Ron Hextall met with the media this morning following the announcement of the move. You can watch video of that above. You can also read the transcript of the interview below. Questions from media in bold.
HEXTALL: I'm not gonna talk about the process. It was a tough decision. He's an NHL player, but we had a ... we're in a jam here, with a roster spot and a cap issue, and we've also got to put our best team on the ice Thursday night.
MEDIA: And if he clears, he's Phantoms-bound?
That would be our intent.
How disappointed is it to do that for a player who, y'know, came here a couple years ago, had a pretty good year the first time?
Well, it's ... it's disappointing, I guess. It's just more, y'know, we're caught in a tough place here and we had to make a tough decision, putting our best team on the ice and creating a roster spot and some cap space. So, it was a tough decision. Obviously, we know Mac's a good NHL player, and ... is it what we wanted to do? No. This is ... if we could've avoided it, we would've.
If MacDonald clears, do you save $900,000 for cap?
How difficult does his contract make things? I mean, not just putting him on waivers, but does the length on the term of it, the cap hit, did that make things really difficult for you guys to kind of come to your final roster?
No. I mean, it's ... y'know, Mac's a good player. We can't forget that. And I'm convinced he's going to be back in the NHL, being a productive player at some point, though. Y'know, The dollars that everybody has, you've got to balance your cap and everything else, and sometimes it leads you to make decisions like this one.
How did he take the news?
Probably typical. I think he was shocked. But he's a pro.
You looked at him, Ron, I mean -- he came here, he really skated the puck well, he seemed to help you in the first year he was here, but his turnover ratio, I think, started to get a little higher. Was there a confidence issue with him?
I would suspect that Mac will be back here, assuming -- if he clears waivers -- I'm convinced at some point he'll be back here and be a productive player for us.
Is part of this, coming into today, you just had to find a way to keep Laughton? He deserved to be here?
Yeah. It is. It's opening-night roster, and Scotty pushed hard. I give him credit. Cause he had to come in here and really make us a better team. And thus far, that's what he's done. He's made us, we're a better team with Scott Laughton on our team. We're a better team with Scott Laughton. Give the kid credit. He pushed the envelope and made this team.