Social media was abuzz today, as news broke of St. Louis Blues’ Assistant Captain and Left Wing, Andy McDonald (#10) retiring from the NHL at the age of 35. News of McDonald’s retirement may have come as a shock to some, but the Canadian native advised Andy Strickland with TrueHockey.com that health-wise, he should no longer play the game that he has loved for so long.
McDonald has had issues in the past with concussions, as do a large number of athletes that participate in sports that may include any physical contact. Trying to deal with the worry and fear of what his future may hold should he endure any additional injuries proved to be too much and resulted in his decision to make the big announcement today.
In the 2012-2013 regular season, McDonald suffered an injury to his left knee during a team practice in February. Coach, Ken Hitchcock focused on bringing McDonald back to the team when he had fully recovered and felt that he would be 100% back on the ice. Upon his return to the line up in March, he continued to support his team and ended the regular season by participating in 37 games and acquiring 7 goals with 14 assists for a total of 21 points.
In the post season, McDonald participated in all six games of round one in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as the Blues battled the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoff champions, the Los Angeles Kings. McDonald gained a lot of ice time throughout round one; however, just as the team did, he struggled with his attempts to advance the puck by L.A.’s goaltender, Jonathan Quick.
Although the season started later than expected and ended before the team and die-hard Blues fans would have liked, the 2013 season proved to be a challenging but promising few months. Andy McDonald helped bring the Blues to the Playoffs this year and should be proud of his accomplishments throughout his hockey career.
As the team moves forward after learning of the news of Andy McDonald’s retirement, the franchise must now determine what is next. Some of the new additions to the team this season and the anticipation of any possible prospects chosen during the 2013 NHL Draft this summer, has easily made the concept of the 2013-2014 season seem as if it may turn out to be one of the best seasons yet for the St. Louis Blues.
We will all miss Andy McDonald and wish him well with any future endeavors.
Lets Go Blues!