Joey MacDonald was shocked and disappointed when the Detroit Red Wings signed Jonas Gustavsson on July 1 to be their backup goaltender.

MacDonald felt his strong play last season earned him the right to be Jimmy Howard's backup. The club was concerned about MacDonald's back issues, which idled him March 14, for the rest of the season.

Looking back at it now, MacDonald realizes it was the best thing for him. When he was cleared to play, he was claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames on Feb. 11.

MacDonald, a veteran journeyman, once again has resurrected his career. He is 7-7-1, with a 2.91 goals-against average and .900 save percentage for a young Flames team that is out of the playoff picture.

It is important for MacDonald to show what he can do during a contract year. He wouldn't have played this much in Detroit.

“It's disappointing. I spent a lot of time there. I know I belong there,'' MacDonald said. “Things went kind of downhill when they signed Jonas. But, it's the way it is.

“I look back now, I played 18 games already. If I was there, I wouldn't have played that many games. It's a contract year. It worked out in the best. Great bunch of guys here and I like it a lot. I think there's a bright future here. Hopefully I'll be a part of it.''