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andrew macdonald

Andrew MacDonald hadn?t been in the visitor?s dressing room since his early days with the New York Islanders, so the experience was a bit of a new one for him on Monday night.

MacDonald, who spent five seasons with the Islanders, returned to Nassau Coliseum for the first time since he was traded on February 4.

?Obviously, my first time back and everything, but I think both sides have moved on,? he told reporters on Monday. ?There?s been quite a bit of time since I?ve left now, so for us we?re just worried about playing well and getting two points.?

Tags: andrew macdonald, Islanders, new york islanders, News, Philadelphia Flyers
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There's just no good news right now if you're an Islander defenseman or fan of Islanders and/or defense. According to multiple reports, defender Andrew MacDonald left the ice during practice today after getting hit by a puck.Matt Saidman, who was at practice, tweeted that MacDonald "stayed down on the ice for a couple minutes before limping off."The Islanders announced there will be an update on Thomas Hickey's injury after practice. Presumably, there could also be one about MacDonald as well.
Tags: andrew macdonald, Islanders, Kevin Schultz
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Yesterday, one of the longest tenured Islanders received the honor of having an 'A' on his sweater.Andrew MacDonald will be one of two assistant captains for the Islanders this year, along with Kyle Okposo. It?s a well-deserved honor for an Islander that is now one of the longest tenured players on the team. Based on draft status, he's been with the organization longer than anyone save for Frans Nielsen and just as long as Kyle Okposo.Around the league yesterday, some other teams did some weird stuff with their captain and alternate captain assignments.In Buffalo, there are two captains. Steve Ott is the team?s captain on the road and Thomas Vanek is the captain at home. That?s such a cop out.But you know what?s really a cop out?The Edmonton Oilers having six assistant captains. SIX. The last few years the Islanders have had extra assistant captains (hence the A-Mac picture on the right)? But six? Since they're not trying to hurt anyone?s feelings up in Edmonton are they going to give everyone a little mini-Stanley Cup at the end of the year?Practice NotesTravis Hamonic skated with the team yesterday and says he feels fine. Michael Grabner did not skate but was just feeling under the weather and should be good to go on Friday.Blog notes In an effort to beef up our on-site coverage this season, we?ll be trying to report from the Coliseum and other games as often as possible. This weekend, I?ll be in Newark on Friday and Christian will have coverage of the home opener Saturday and Tuesday against Phoenix. ?Sometimes bloggers have to get out of their parent?s basements.It only took 20 minutes for the fighting debate to come to the forefront of the NHL season.Last night, the NHL kicked off the season with three nationally televised matchups, the first of which was Canadiens/Leafs in Montreal. It was a fight filled affair and in the third period there was an especially scary moment when George Parros hit the ice face-first during a fight and was knocked unconscious for nearly a minute.It was an odd fall Parros took; not the typical kind you imagine when a fighter gets knocked out. He didn?t get knocked out from a punch or fall backwards and hit is head on the ice. Parros was fighting with Colton Orr and when Orr lost his balance and fell, he had a hold of Parros? collar. Orr went down, taking Parros with him. Parros? hands were caught up with Orr and he had nothing to brace himself with when he hit the ice chin first.In a year where visors became mandatory for rookies as a sort of way to curtail fighting and generally improve player safety it only figures that the first game of the year will end with a player getting stretchered off after a fight.So now fighting is immediately brought to the forefront and the debate will rage on, with the NHL presumably sitting on its hands or making another small rule change that doesn't really appease either side somewhere down the line.Anyway, if you want to see the picture or the video of the fight you can click here. But be warned, it?s not fun to watch. At all.Michael Fornabaio catches up with Anders Nilsson in the CT Post about what caused him to miss so much time last season. Not totally sure, but this might be the first time Nilsson has been so candid about it:[sny-box]He'd sleep 10 hours a night and still feel tired. He went through a battery of tests, and doctors couldn't tell him much more than that he wasn't dying."I feel even though I didn't miss the whole season last year, it felt as (if) I did."The problems nailed him right away last year: He was scheduled to start the second night of the season but wasn't feeling up to it, feeling run-down. He returned after a month but was shut down for about two months in February."My body stopped absorbing nutrients," Nilsson said.Several vitamin levels plummeted. He lost weight and couldn't shake the fatigue.It took a while for doctors to figure it out, sorting through symptoms to determine that he was suffering from a gluten and dairy allergy."I'd never had it before," he said.Doctors told him the condition could be dormant in a person until environmental or diet changes trigger it -- say, moving from Sweden to Connecticut.[/sny-box]It?s almost a little amazing that we don?t see more of this as athletes transition to new places and travel across the globe to pursue a career in the NHL.Speaking from personal experience, I was sick almost constantly for two years after coming back from college in the south while my body adjusted.? Going from eighty degrees and shorts in March to the cold New York winter is more than just a mental transition, it can be a battle for the immune system. It?s also the same sort of reason why your grandparents go to Florida in the winter.? They avoid the tough New York winter and once they start doing that, it?s hard to stop because they?re not used to a cold climate in the winter. But of course it is different for everyone.Also: Eyes on Isles debates whether the Isles should have signed Tim Thomas or kept Evgeni Nabokov?
Tags: andrew macdonald, Islanders, Kevin Schultz
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When it comes to hockey teams and advanced statistics, the former are not very forth coming with how they use the latter. In fact, most teams don't admit whether they use advanced stats in their analysis of players at all. We know some of them do because some unnamed teams have hired the creator of BehindtheNet.ca,?Gabriel Desjardins, which is probably the premier resource for advanced hockey statistics (and a good place to start if you're unfamiliar with the genre). Three years ago, Desjardins was on the payroll for three NHL teams, seemingly as a consultant for advanced stats decision making. Today, Arthur Staple writes that the Islanders do employ some kind of advanced statistical analysis -- or at least did over the summer -- and that the team's conclusion was to break up what was their first defensive pairing in 2012-13, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald. Staple writes:[sny-box]For those fans interested (as I am) in advanced stats, the Isles are using them to assess defensive pairings, and they came away with the idea of splitting Andrew MacDonald and Hamonic. Neither defenseman seems terribly excited by the idea -- he never said so, but I presume MacDonald?s being against it partially stems from the fact that this is a contract year for him, so the more quality minutes for him the better -- but we?ll see if analytics pay off.MacDonald likely will start Tuesday night and be paired with Matt Donovan, who has the inside track for earning a top-six spot.[/sny-box]The reason this is important to note is that this is the first time that the Islanders have acknowledged any kind of advanced analysis when it comes to their personnel moves. It's probably particularly helpful when evaluating defenders since there aren't really any traditional statistics that are good at evaluating defense. Or maybe, they're reading Lighthouse Hockey. Here's resident stat geek guru Garik writing about the pairing on July 19?and being fairly prescient:?[sny-box]What we have here is a pair of D men who faced top competition and failed to contain them. Now this wasn't an every game thing - it seems like the D pair had a very up and down season, with the downs (games they failed to do their job) being more numerous than the ups (games they contained). Does this mean the pair isn't capable of handling this role in the future?...For me, this suggests that the Isles might want to try and alter this pairing. AMac is a UFA in a year, and while he's unlikely to be super pricey, this does suggest that he might not be a 1D for the future whom is a bargain, despite how the Isles are playing him. Perhaps flip AMac and Hickey? Hard to say.This does deserve some heavy observation as the upcoming season goes forward, however.[/sny-box]What MacDonald's true value is as a defender has been an on-going question for quite a while. He's a ninth round pick that has vastly overachieved compared to his draft status, but he's also not Nicklas Lidstrom. The short answer is that while he is talented, he's probably not top pair caliber. That's not to say he's not a good defender, it's to say that he's not an elite defender.So far in the pre-season the Islanders have split up MacDonald and Hamonic with Hamonic skating alongside Brian Strait. Staple notes that MacDonald is likely to pair up with Matt Donovan, who has all of 3 NHL games to his name. The defense pairs are likely in flux right now, so I wouldn't really set any combination in stone just yet, but it's certainly interesting to see how the Islanders have gone about some of the decisions.
Tags: andrew macdonald, Islanders, travis hamonic, Kevin Schultz
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Last night, Islanders GM Garth Snow joined Gary Harding on WGBB 1240 AM in New York for an interview. Snow was asked about the Islanders opening training camp in Brooklyn, and the Islanders GM mentioned that the team would take the train to the Barclays center on Thursday:[sny-box]"We start the first day of main training camp at the Barclays Center, so that's going to be an exciting day for sure. We're gonna take the team on the Long Island Railroad and take the train right to Barclays. So it's going to be a fun day Thursday when we hit the ice for the first time in the Barclays center, but on the flip side we recognize what a special place the Coliseum is..."[/sny-box] The Islanders will host the opening day of training camp at the Barclays Center on Thursday, and then return to the Coliseum and Iceworks for the rest of training camp. Snow also commented on Andrew MacDonald, who is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season and is likely due a raise:[sny-box]"I've had communication with his agent, we obviously would like to bring Andrew back... We have a player in Andrew who wants to be here and as a lot of these negotiations go, it just comes down to term and money. That will play itself out. It's still, obviously, early in the process... He's not a free agent until next summer and we realize how important he is to our team and we'll try to get something done."[/sny-box]
Tags: andrew macdonald, Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz
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We're almost finished with our report card reviews of the team before we shift into training camp mode in September. This post is part of a series.?Read them all here.

Andrew MacDonald -- D -- #47

3-9-12 in 48 games

Tags: andrew macdonald, Islanders, summer report cards
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One of the interesting notes about the first two games -- in addition to whether or not the Islanders system makes sense -- is how the Islanders handle ice time with their impact players. We're only two games in and already the team's most important players are playing huge minutes. Is that sustainable? Maybe, it only 48 games this year as opposed to 82 but not for everyone. Some of these players have already played half a season in other leagues.

It's only two games, so it's probably not best to take what's happened as a serious sign of things to come or to heap too much judgement on the team's decision making (as many took to ledges after Saturday's loss only to quickly step back yesterday afternoon). But one thing that has been apparent is that the team has leaned on its top players quite a bit after two games.

Here's a look at last year's ice time for the team (click to enlarge):

Tags: andrew macdonald, Islanders, mark streit, matt martin, michael grabner, News, Editorial Aside, Videos
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Per Katie Strang, defender Andrew MacDonald is the latest Islander to head to Europe. He's going to be playing for HC Energie Karlovy Vary (say that five times fast) of the Czech league. That now makes seven Islanders playing in Europe: MacDonald (CZE), John Tavares (SUI), Mark Streit (SUI), Frans Nielsen (FIN), Michael Grabner (AUS), Lubomir Visnovsky (SLV), and Jesse Joensuu (FIN).

As for Grabner, who signed with his hometown team of Villacher SV late last week, the team didn't waste any time trying to capitalize on merchandise opportunities. They cleverly labeled the Grabner jersey t-shirt as a 'limited edition' but who knows, it could be a year long engagement depending on how things go here in North America.

SOUND TIGER NOTES

Tags: anders nilsson, andrew macdonald, Islanders, kevin poulin, lockout, michael grabner, mike fornabaio, News, Sound Tigers, sound tigers, travis hamonic
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