No deadline distractions when he returns from injury, as the Blues miraculously push for a playoff spot. No off-season headaches as teams bid on what would have been one of the most desirable UFA centers on the market. The Blues believe they have a first-line center as they come out of the rebuild, and they've kept him from skating away.
The first step in accepting that McDonald is worth a four-year contract is understanding that the player who lit it up from 2005-07 with the Anaheim Ducks was an anomaly. McDonald was on fire before getting injured back in November, to the tune of 18 points in 16 games, but he's never going to be a top 20 scorer in this League. But he's a good enough playmaker to help Brad Boyes earn his $5 million next season, something that had to play on the minds of St. Louis brass with Keith Tkachuk on the trading block and Paul Kariya getting sliced up like a giant tuna on "Iron Chef" this season.
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So it was a solid signing, but the money does matter. He had a $3.3 million cap hit this season, and Andy Strickland writes that it's logical the number could go up a bit:
Both sides have spent more time discussing term as opposed to exchanging numbers. McDonald may get a little more money than you might think when you factor in he's won a Cup, his preparation off the ice, the character he brings to the lineup, not to mention he has suffered very few injuries throughout his career prior to his fractured ankle.
Keep an eye on St. Louis Game Time and STLToday.com for the contract terms, and we'll try and post them here when they leak. The Blues are not a good hockey team yet; but you have to like the way John Davidson and Larry Pleau are building this club right now. Just keep him the hell away from those golf carts.