Andy McDonald skated in a regular "yellow" jersey at practice yesterday, instead of a red no-contact jersey. Why does this fill me with dread?
Let me say from the start: Andy McDonald has been a very good hockey player. As a Blue, he's produced at nearly a point-per-game pace (189 points in 235 games, or 0.8 ppg--compare to the Blues current "best" offensive player, David Backes, at 0.6 ppg), and is probably their best offensive player in terms of consistency. He also brings to the ice one of the things that plagues the Blues, and will hold them back from being a legit playoff contender: power play production.
God, I wish he would retire.
Andy McDonald is 34 years old. He has two young kids. He has four (known) concussions in his medical history. Since becoming a full-time NHLer in 2002-03, he has played a full slate of games (75+) four times. Four. In ten seasons (counting 2011-12). You hate to hang the "injury-prone" label on anyone, but it is medical science that, once you've had a single concussion you are "concussion-prone." To repeat: McDonald has had four of those.
I am 38. I also have two young kids. The other night, I banged my head on some ductwork in the basement. This was a cause for some mild cursing and a few minutes of moderate pain. If I were Andy McDonald, I would have been terrified that I'd bruised my brain again.
Andy McDonald doesn't owe the Blues, Blues fans, the NHL, or the game of hockey a damn thing at this point. He does owe his kids a dad. A dad who will be able to remember their future spouses' and his future grandkids' names. Does Nik Kronwall's elbow give a damn about that? Dion Phaneuf's shoulder? Any molecule of Todd Bertuzzi's body? I'm afraid to even look at the schedule and see if the Blues have any games left against the Sabres and Patrick Kaleta.
I know he's not reading this, and I know that even if he were he wouldn't but...
God, I wish Andy McDonald would retire.
LeNoceur used to write hockey nonsense at Melt Your Face-Off. He retired from that gig wealthier than you can possibly imagine, and promptly blew it all on Dr. Pepper futures. As always, he is grateful to hildymac for the opportunity to post occasional Blues-related thoughts here.