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Andrew MacDonald recalled by Flyers to replace Michael Del Zotto

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He's back.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

With today's devastating news that Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto will be out indefinitely with an upper-body injury (rumored to be a wrist injury that's been bugging him for weeks that was then aggravated in today's game against the Devils), the Flyers will recall Andrew MacDonald to take Del Zotto's place on the roster, reports Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post. (UPDATE: The Flyers have confirmed and announced the recall.)

MacDonald, of course, is in the second year of a six-year, $30 million contract with the Flyers, and was sent down to the Flyers' AHL team in Lehigh Valley after a rough first year of that deal and preseason performance this year. He was recalled briefly in December following an injury to Luke Schenn and played in one game before being sent back to the Phantoms.

As it turns out, MacDonald's actually been playing some very good hockey for the Phantoms lately. He's on a nine-game point streak (well doesn't that sound familiar!), with 14 points (all assists) in that time, and entered Saturday first among AHL defensemen in points and tied for second among AHL defensemen in points. Highland Park Hockey's Tony Androckitis recently called MacDonald "a difference-maker" at the AHL level who's been great for the Phantoms.

So while MacDonald will surely (and not unjustifiably) have his fair share of skeptics and critics when he gets back to the NHL level, it's fair to say he's earned a shot to be back with the team and is probably the Flyers' best call-up option as they currently stand.

It remains to be seen whether or not MacDonald will actually draw into the lineup on Sunday night against New York, or if Evgeny Medvedev will step into the lineup in Del Zotto's place. It's also possible that they'll both come in for someone else currently on the ice. We'll see on Sunday night. Del Zotto was averaging 23:28 of ice time per game heading into Saturday's game against New Jersey, easily the most on the team among defensemen. So no matter who ends up coming in for him, there will be a lot of minutes to go around.