Originally posted on On the Duck Pond  |  Last updated 6/6/13
What do Pete Peeters and Andy McDonald have in common?  Both are retiring, and both have been part of the Ducks organization. Peeters, 55, has been Anaheim's goaltending consultant since 2009, following in Francois Allaire's footsteps.  The former Vezina trophy winner (1983) chose to step away from the game that he has been part of for the past 30 years (13 as a player, 17 as a coach.) “Congratulations to Pete on a tremendous career, both as a player and a coach,” said GM Bob Murray. “Pete’s character, competitiveness and class have made him one of the league’s great people. We wish him the very best during his well-deserved retirement and thank him for his contributions to the Ducks and the NHL.” Peeters was never shy about suiting up for practices and truly enjoyed the game of hockey.   He was always down to earth and a lot of fun to be around. “I could write a small book thanking everyone who has made my career such a great experience,”  Peeters said after the announcement. “The Ducks welcomed me into their family and made me feel a part of it from day one. Thank you to the Samuelis, Michael Schulman and Bob Murray for giving me the opportunity to work with this great organization. I will certainly miss the people, including the coaches, players and the entire club staff. The list could go on and on.” It is still unknown who might replace Peeters as goaltending coach. In other news, a younger guy, Andy McDonald, also announced his retirement from hockey.   McDonald, 35, suffered multiple concussions over the course of his 11 year career that was split between the Ducks and the St. Louis Blues.  Fear of the next one is what finally made the decision for him. “The last few years too much of the focus became worrying about the next hit. I was always thinking about it," said McDonald.  “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.” At this point, family was more important.  McDonald met his wife, Gina, while in Anaheim, and they have two children together.  They plan on remaining in the St. Louis community, where they have been since McDonald was traded to the Blues in 2008.   McDonald, a standout at Colgate University, was one of David McNab's nifty college signings.  At 5'10" and 175 lbs., McDonald was never the biggest guy on the ice, but he played like he was.  He played more than half his career in Anaheim, logging 391 games, 92 goals and 259 of his 489 points in a Ducks uniform.    After Paul Kariya left, McDonald stepped up and was the perfect compliment for Teemu Selanne.  Unfortunately, after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup (on this date in 2007!) Scott Niedermayer had contemplated retirement.  After finally deciding that, yes, he did want to continue playing, the Ducks had no room in the salary cap for his salary.  In order to make room, McDonald was traded to St. Louis in exchange for Doug Weight. It was a blow that hurt the Ducks, not to mention surprise McDonald and his teammates.  McDonald continued his success in St. Louis, even reuniting briefly with Kariya, who also ended up retiring due to cumulative effects of concussions. After his major concussion in 2003 that kept him completely out of the playoffs that year, it was amazing that McDonald was even able to come back to play again.  There were times during that concussion that his career was in serious question.  For him to continue to play and reach the milestones he did, including winning the Cup in 2007, was truly miraculous. However, concussions are cumulative, and McDonald had at least five concussions during his playing career.  He is not the first player to have to yield to concussions and he won't be the last, unfortunately.    Nonetheless, I am as sorry to see him retire as I was when the Ducks traded him away.  But I wish him the very best and I agree that he made the right decision.    
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