McDonald, whose given name was Alvin, started his career with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1957-58 season. He won three straight Stanley Cups with the Canadiens before joining Chicago in a multi-player trade. The Winnipeg native played on the Hawks’ original “Scooter Line” with linemates Stan Mikita and Ken Wharram. McDonald scored 17 goals and 33 points in his first season with Chicago as the team won the 1961 Stanley Cup. He added two playoff goals, including the Cup-clinching goal in a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 6.
“Ab McDonald was an important member of the Chicago Blackhawks family and will forever have a connection to the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship team,” the Hawks said in a statement. In addition to his many contributions on the ice throughout his 14-year National Hockey League career, Ab was very involved in the Blackhawks Alumni Association upon retirement and made it a priority to give back to the game that gave so much to him. The Blackhawks organization extends their deepest condolences to the entire McDonald family and all of Ab’s friends and former teammates.”
McDonald’s best offensive season during his four-year stint with the Hawks came in the 1962-63 season, when he tallied 61 points (20 goals and 41 assists) in 69 games. He was traded with Reggie Fleming to the Boston Bruins on June 8, 1964, for Doug Mohns. McDonald posted 73 goals and 107 assists in 265 games with Chicago. He had 182 goals and 248 assists in 762 regular-season games in his 14-year career. He added 21 goals and 29 assists in 84 playoff contests.
After one season with Boston, McDonald was traded to Detroit before being selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the expansion draft. He also played for the St. Louis Blues and the World Hockey Association’s Winnipeg Jets, and was the first captain in franchise history for Pittsburgh and Winnipeg.