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Concussions force former Ducks star Andy McDonald to retire

June 06, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • Ducks center Andy McDonald tries to disrupt a possession by Kings winger Tyler Toffoli during Game 6 of their playoff series last month.
Ducks center Andy McDonald tries to disrupt a possession by Kings winger… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Center Andy McDonald, who set a Ducks club record of 10 goals in one postseason during the team’s drive to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship, said Thursday he plans to retire because he fears what will happen if he suffers another concussion.

The small-but-skillful McDonald, 35, had five concussions during a career that began with the Ducks in the 2000-01 season. He had 182 goals and 489 points in 685 NHL games and spent the last five-plus seasons with the St. Louis Blues.

“The last few years too much of the focus became worrying about the next hit. I was always thinking about it,” McDonald told the website

“I’m fortunate to get out now. I know I could play two or three more years and I love the game of hockey, but healthwise I know I shouldn’t be playing.”

McDonald’s mark of 10 goals in the 2007 playoffs still stands as a Ducks record. He scored two goals one minute apart in the second period of Game 4 of the Cup finals at Ottawa and scored the first goal in the Cup clincher, which was played six years ago on Thursday. He had 14 points in 21 playoff games that spring.

McDonald was one of many unheralded college players discovered by Ducks scout David McNab, as detailed here. The Ducks traded him to St. Louis in December 2007 to free up salary-cap space for the return of Scott Niedermayer, who had retired after the Cup win but decided to return.

His retirement is a sad reminder about the toll concussions take not only on players’ careers, but their lives. At least McDonald got to choose when he would exit. Here’s wishing him the best.


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