PHILADELPHIA -- In an expected move, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher announced Saturday that the team was parting ways with veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald.
MacDonald, who will turn 33 on Sept. 7, played parts of six seasons with the Flyers but fell victim to a youth movement on the back end -- and the fact they could use more cap space to improve the team this summer.
The Flyers placed him on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating the remaining season on his six-year, $30 million contract.
It's expected that MacDonald won't be claimed and the Flyers will buy out the last year of his deal. The buyout is spread over two years and is two times the length of the remaining year on the contract.
"It was a difficult decision and it was solely cap-related," Fletcher said. He called MacDonald a "consummate professional. We asked a lot of Andrew. And by that, I mean he played the left side, the right side. He'd (sometimes) be a healthy scratch and then we took him back in the lineup. We asked him to play with young players and mentor them and bring stability to our back end."
Per CapFriendly.com, the Flyers will have a $1.17 cap hit for MacDonald this season, and a $1.92 million cap hit in 2020-21. He would have had a $5 million cap hit this season if he remained.
The $3.83 million cap-hit reduction this season can be used in the free-agent market.
"We wanted to maximize our cap flexibility," said Fletcher, who is trying to sign center Kevin Hayes before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
On Friday, the Flyers added to their cap by acquiring Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen ($5.75 million cap hit) for Radko Gudas ($3.35 million) -- and agreeing to pay about $1 million of Gudas' salary.
MacDonald had no goals, nine assists and a minus-5 rating in 47 games last season.