Parker MacDonald, a center for the 1967 Calder Cup Champion Pittsburgh Hornets, has died.
The former NHL regular, who played the majority of his career in the Original Six era, passed yesterday at the age of 84 in Connecticut.
MacDonald started his career in the Ontario Hockey Association for the Toronto Marlboros in the 1951–52 season. He was a noticed by the Toronto Maple Leafs and made his NHL debut in 1952, playing one game. Toronto signed MacDonald to play for the Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Hornets, the following season. MacDonald scored 29 goals for the Hornets in his first season until he finally earned full-time status with the Leafs in 1954. After that season the New York Rangers plucked MacDonald from the Leafs’ roster in the Intra-League Draft, where he continued to be shuffled between the Rangers and their AHL affiliates.
The Detroit Red Wings decided to take a chance and grabbed MacDonald in the 1960 Intra-League Draft. MacDonald went on to play half a season for the Boston Bruins, his fourth Original Six team.
In 1966-67, MacDonald returned to Pittsburgh for his 15th pro season and helped the Hornets by putting up 16 goals and 30 assists in 59 games. MacDonald played in all nine of the Hornets playoff games as the team won their third Calder Cup Championship.
MacDonald’s steady play helped him get drafted by the expansion Minnesota North Stars and would play parts of two more seasons in the NHL.
Immediately after his retirement following the 1969-70 season, MacDonald moved behind the bench and in his first season as a head coach he led the Iowa Stars to the finals of the old Central Hockey League. He spent a decade coaching the AHL’s New Haven Nighthawks before signing on as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings in 1980-81. However, his return to the NHL would be brief. After taking over head-coaching duties the following season, MacDonald was replaced after compiling a 13-24-9 mark with the Kings.