UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders traded veteran defenceman Andrew MacDonald to the Metropolitan Division rival Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday for a pair of draft picks and minor league centre Matt Mangene.
The deal was announced one day before the NHL trade deadline and several hours before the Islanders played the Jets in Winnipeg. Philadelphia will host Washington on Wednesday night, following the afternoon dealing deadline.
MacDonald will bolster the Flyers’ defence corps as they push for a playoff spot. Philadelphia, which also has former Islanders defenceman Mark Streit on the back end, is currently in second place in the Metropolitan, one point ahead of the New York Rangers and two points above the post-season cutoff.
Streit, who spent time as MacDonald’s defence partner with New York, was traded to the Flyers last June after serving as Islanders team captain. He then signed a four-year, $21 million contract less than a week after the deal, before he could become a free agent.
New York is in a selling mode now, all but certain to fail in its bid to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season. The Islanders, who are last in the division, acquired a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a second-round choice in 2015, along with Mangene.
The Islanders had arguably the top available defenceman and forward in this year’s trade market. Leading scorer Thomas Vanek, acquired earlier this season from Buffalo, also is expected to be dealt before Wednesday’s deadline.
The 27-year-old MacDonald, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has four goals and 20 assists in 63 games this season. He leads the NHL with 198 blocked shots and is eighth in average ice time per game at 25 minutes, 25 seconds.
In 295 career NHL games over six seasons, all with the Islanders, MacDonald has 17 goals and 72 assists. He was chosen by New York in the sixth round of the 2006 draft.
Mangene, who will turn 25 on March 12, has three goals and three assists in 51 games this season with Adirondack of the American Hockey League. He was assigned to Bridgeport.
Mangene played three seasons of college hockey at Maine, and had 16 goals and 34 points in his final season of 2011-12.
He signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers in 2012 before being sent to Adirondack. In 92 career games with Adirondack, Mangene had 14 goals and 15 assists.