Tag: Andy McDonald

Andy McDonald

Andy McDonald retires, citing concussion concerns


In somewhat surprising news, Blues forward Andy McDonald is retiring, citing post-concussion concerns as his reason for leaving the game.

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

“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 health-wise I know I shouldn’t be playing.”

McDonald, 35, had seven goals and 14 assists in 37 games this season. He appeared in all six playoff games for St. Louis, failing to register a point.

According to True Hockey, McDonald suffered five concussions during his NHL career.

McDonald was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

In all, he played 685 regular-season games, scoring 182 goals and adding 307 assists.

He also won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

Blues tell Tarasenko he’s in ‘important spot’ for team


Vladimir Tarasenko’s promising rookie season ended on a bit of a down note as he only played in one playoff games (with just five minutes of ice time) for the St. Louis Blues, yet the team seems enthusiastic about his future, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

GM Doug Armstrong’s summer assignment: get better and get ready.

“I was very impressed with his season,” Armstrong said. “Now he has to go home and he has to come back in and be a player that we can count on. He left with a mandate that, ‘Your name is on the board in an important spot now.'”

The 21-year-old’s game clearly fell off after he suffered a concussion on Feb. 20, so getting healthy will be a big goal during the summer, as well.

With key forwards such as Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund and Andy McDonald in need of new contracts, it’s quite possible that the Blues will indeed ask more of the rising star.


Leafs’ Bozak tore triceps in Game 5 of Boston series

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Many were wondering what prevented Tyler Bozak from playing in the final two games of the Leafs-Bruins series.

Well, now they know.

Bozak told reporters he tore his triceps on a faceoff at the end of Game 5, an injury that wiped him out for the remainder of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

Recovery time for such a tear is four weeks — which means he should be healthy in time for free agency.

The 27-year-old center is going to be a curious case this summer. Bozak had a strong season for the Leafs — 12 goals, 16 assists — and did it coming off a stellar 2011-12 campaign, when he posted highs in goals (18) and points (47).

Bozak also averaged over 20 minutes per game this season, the most in his four-year NHL career.

The former University of Denver standout is in the final season of a two-year, $3 million deal and should get a significant pay bump as an unrestricted free agent.

He figures to be one of the top centers available this summer — Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy and Andy McDonald are some others —  but the key with Bozak is his age.

He turned 27 in March, whereas most of the other UFA centers are already on the wrong side of 30.

UPDATE: According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bozak suffered a 70 percent tear of his right triceps. Bozak also said taking warmup for Game 6 was “pure [Randy] Carlyle mind games” as he had no chance of playing.

Any GMs looking to send 50-goal scorers to St. Louis, give Doug Armstrong a buzz


After scoring just 10 goals in a six-game playoffs ouster, the St. Louis Blues know they need more offense.

But, as GM Doug Armstrong points out, offense isn’t easy to come by.

“This is a public cry that for any GMs that have 50-goal scorers that they want to send to St. Louis, give me a call,” Armstrong joked (we think) to the Belleville News-Democrat. “This doesn’t happen, you have to deal in reality.

The reality is with free agency the way it is now, teams tie up those elusive top-end goal scorers. They draft them. Malkin, Crosby, Tavares, Stamkos were drafted by those teams.”

The Blues have now been bounced in consecutive series by the Kings, and a lack of goalscoring has been a major theme throughout (in 2012, the Blues scored just six times in a four-game sweep.)

In his season-ending remarks, head coach Ken Hitchcock cryptically referred to needing more “from people that are homegrown,” and “the boys we built around.”

One could assume Hitch was referring to players St. Louis drafted that failed to produce this series: David Perron (no goals), Patrik Berglund (one goal) and possibly captain David Backes, a two-time 30 goal scorer that now has just four tallies in 19 playoff games.

That said, there are other culprits as well.

Two “un-homegrown” players — Andy McDonald and Chris Stewart — were virtual no-shows in the playoffs, combining for one point.

Stewart was the team’s leading goalscorer during the regular season (with 18) and McDonald led the Blues in playoff scoring last year with 10 points in nine games.

So no surprise their disappearing acts threw the Blues off course.

That said, it doesn’t sound as though St. Louis is planning a roster shakeup. If the words from Hitchcock and Armstrong suggest anything, the Blues will simply demand more of the players they currently have.

“It’s incumbent upon the players in this room to find out how to produce when the lights are the brightest, to score those goals,” he said. “If I can find a guy that can come in and help us score goals, certainly we’re gong to look at doing it.

“But to think that player’s out there and teams just give them away and say ‘Geez, it’s St. Louis’s time to win, we’ll give you Ovechkin.’… You’ve got to deal in reality.”

Blues have said plenty, hope to get results tonight

T.J. Oshie
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The St. Louis Blues have lost three of their last four games and are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

With their hold on a playoff spot slipping, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock held a post-game meeting after their latest defeat. They’ll play the Los Angeles Kings tonight and try to prove they can do more than just talk about their problems.

“It’s all comes down what we do tonight,” forward T.J. Oshie told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I have a lot of trust in the guys in this locker room that that’s going to get done.”

“If we don’t,” captain David Backes added, “we’re going to be a miserable team for a while. So, it’s time to put up tonight and we’ll see how we respond as a group.”

The Blues will have three off-days to think about what went wrong this time should they lose tonight. More importantly, they might fall out of the top eight during that time. As it is, only two points separate them and ninth place.

“It’s crunch time,” Andy McDonald said. “Everyone looks at the standings to see where we are, and how close it is.

“The expectations are so high in this room and guys want to play in the postseason. There have been a lot of meetings from the end of the last game until now, hopefully we understand that we have to bring it together now and they’re can’t be any excuses. The most important hockey is right now.”

The flip side is that a win tonight would be a big morale boost for the Blues at a critical time, especially seeing as it would be coming against the Kings. Including Los Angeles’ four-game sweep in the postseason, the Blues have suffered seven straight defeats to the Kings.

“They’re definitely a top test… I think the perfect test for us right now,” Oshie said.

Goaltender Jaroslav Halak is expected be in net for the Blues and the game will start at 8:00 p.m. ET.