Ab McDonald, a member of the 1961 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, passed away this past Tuesday night, according to various reports.
Chicago Blackhawks former player and Stanley Cup champion Ab McDonald has died at 82 years old. In a tweet today, the Chicago Blackhawks organization spoke out and said, “On behalf of the entire Blackhawks organization, we extend our deepest condolences to the McDonald family and all of Ab’s friends and former teammates.”
Alvin, McDonald’s given first name, started off in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens in 1958. McDonald won the Stanley Cup in four straight years which is an accomplishment in and of itself. However, those were his first four seasons in the NHL.
Not too many people can say they’ve done that.
The first three came with the Montreal Canadiens, where he started his career. His fourth came with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1961 where he scored the goal that would turn out to be a Stanley Cup clincher.
"“I felt better winning the Stanley Cup with Chicago as a first or second line player than I did winning it three times with Montreal and playing as a fourth line player,” McDonald said. “I can’t take anything away from those Montreal teams. They were good. They had some great talent, some real superstars. But Chicago had an up-and-coming team. And I guess I had a bigger role to play with them and that made me feel better.”"
Ab certainly did play a bigger role when he was with Chicago as he played alongside Stan Mikita and Ken Wharram on what was eventually nicknamed the “Scooter Line.”
On the line, Ab said:
"“I guess we got our nickname because we moved the puck around so well and that we were all over the ice when we played. We just seemed to hit it off just right when we were put together. It was the highlight of my career playing with these two guys. We scored a lot of points during the time we were together.”"
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He certainly did tally a lot of points while in Chicago as four of his 14 NHL seasons were spent with the Blackhawks. Those four years were filled with 265 games of hockey in which he totaled 73 goals and 107 assists.
He posted a career-best 61 points in one season with Chicago.
Including the Chicago Blackhawks, Ab spent his 14-year long NHL career across six organizations. Additionally, he joined the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA in what was their inaugural season in 1972. McDonald became the first team captain of the Jets and additionally scored the organization’s first goal.
Joe Daley, a former NHL player and teammate of McDonald, has been close with him since the 1960s, this according to Sarah Petz of CBC News.
On McDonald, Daley said:
"“I hope they remember him as a first-class Winnipeger who loved his hometown, loved his sport, loved people, and just genuinely a nice guy. We always lose the ones we love before we want to.”"
Ab has left his footprint all over hockey, but especially in the Winnipeg area. Today let us all take the time to remember not only what he did for the Blackhawks in 1961, but what he did for hockey and the community in Winnipeg.