Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Gerry McDonald
Gerry McDonald was a multi-talented athlete but always seemed to gravitate towards hockey. He played at North Adams State College for three years in NCAA Division Three from 1977 to 1980. At 6'3", he had a long reach which made it difficult for opposing forwards to get around him in the defensive zone, especially when he stuck out his long stick with the patented poke check.

As much as he enjoyed the game of hockey, playing in Division Three meant few pro scouts ever made the trek to the games, having their hands full covering Division One and major junior hockey. McDonald knew he had the ability to play at a higher level and was given a tryout with the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL in 1980-81. In December, 1980 he was signed to a minor-league contract by the NHL's New York Rangers and played the balance of his season in the AHL with the New Haven Nighthawks where he was one of the club's best defenders.

McDonald played with a strong work ethic in New Haven, and the Hartford Whalers noticed it. He was included in a package trade with Doug Sulliman and Chris Kotsopoulos for Mike Rogers and a draft choice. The trade put McDonald in a Binghamton Whalers uniform but he was called up to Hartford for three games in 1981-82. His only other NHL experience came two years later in the 1983-84 season when he was called back as an injury replacement for five games. Although he had just an eight-game career in the NHL, playing in New England was a dream come true. He once said the only better scenario would have been to have the chance to play with the Boston Bruins in his home state of Massachusetts, but just making it to the NHL was the thrill of a lifetime.

McDonald retired from competitive hockey after the 1983-84 season.

Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1977-1980 North Adams State College ECAC-3
1980-81 Tulsa Oilers CHL 5 0 1 1 2
1980-81 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 70 6 23 29 67 4 0 0 0 0
1981-82 Hartford Whalers NHL 3 0 0 0 0 -2
1981-82 Binghamton Whalers AHL 57 3 11 14 42
1982-83 Binghamton Whalers AHL 74 8 33 41 62 5 0 4 4 23
1983-84 Hartford Whalers NHL 5 0 0 0 4 -3
1983-84 Binghamton Whalers AHL 72 4 39 43 34
NHL Totals 8 0 0 0 4

Signed as a free agent by NY Rangers, December 12, 1980. Traded to Hartford by NY Rangers with Doug Sulliman and Chris Kotsopoulos for Mike Rogers and Hartford's 10th round pick (Simo Saarinen) in 1982 NHL Draft, October 2, 1981.
Surname(s) beginning with