March 3, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Spartan hockey standout Don McSween (1984-87) has been selected to receive the Spartan Hockey 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award. McSween will be honored at the Hockey Awards Banquet on Monday, March 7 at the Holiday Inn South in Lansing.
"Don was one of the best captains that I have ever had," said former MSU head coach and current Athletics Director Ron Mason. "He was a players' player and a coaches' player. He just had a huge genuine interest for the game. He was the type of player to be the first guy there and the last guy to leave."
The Plymouth, Mich., native led the Green and White to a 139-37-4 mark during his four-year career. The Spartans advanced to four NCAA Tournaments, including a national championship in 1986, runner-up honors in 1987 and a fourth-place finish in 1984. In addition, State captured three CCHA playoff titles (1984, 1985 and 1987) and two regular-season championships (1985 and 1986) during his tenure.
He totaled 28 goals and 101 assists for 129 points in a then-NCAA record 180 career games as well as serving as a captain for three years (1985-87). He still ranks fourth all-time on MSU's career scoring list for points by a blueliner and third in career helpers by a blueliner. He was a three-time All-CCHA First-Team selection (1985, 1986 and 1987) and a two-time All-American Second-Team honoree (1986 and 1987). McSween is still the only player in school history to be a three-time All-CCHA First-Team honoree.
As a freshman (1983-84), McSween tallied 10 goals and 26 assists for 36 pints in 46 games en route to CCHA All-Rookie team honors. During his sophomore campaign (19984-85), he recorded two goals and 23 assists for 25 points in 44 games en route to CCHA First-Team distinction.
As a junior and team captain in 1985-86, he picked up nine goals and 29 assists for 38 points in 45 games as State captured the NCAA National title. He scored the game-winning tally shorthanded in MSU's 6-4 win over Minnesota in the NCAA Semifinals on his way to being selected to the NCAA All-Tournament team. He also scored the game winner in overtime against Michigan Tech in the Great Lakes Invitational semifinal en route to earning GLI Tournament MVP honors as State captured its fourth straight GLI crown.
The 1986-87 team captain posted seven goals and 23 assists for 30 points in 45 games as a senior en route to team MVP honors. He led the Spartans to a 33-10-2 record and runner-up honors at the 1987 NCAA Championship. He picked up a goal and an assist in State's two-game sweep of Maine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
He won five of the nine awards at MSU's post-season banquet in 1987, including MVP, Oustanding Senior, Amo Bessone, Outstanding Defensive and Blue Line President's Awards. In addition, he also was selected as MSU's George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year in 1987.
McSween, who earned his electrical engineering degree from MSU in 1987, was a three-time CCHA All-Academic Team member (1985, 1986 and 1987). He also was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American honoree. He also received MSU's Amo Bessone Award in 1986 and 1987 for athletic, scholastic and community participation.
Following his MSU playing days, he embarked on a professional career that spanned 14 seasons and 693 professional games. An eighth-round draft pick (No. 154 overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, McSween broke into the professional career with the Rochester Americans in 1987-88.
He played five seasons in Rochester, playing in 348 games and recording 215 points (45 goals, 170 assists). He still holds American records for points by a defenseman in a career (215) and ranks 17th in games played (348) and 18th in assists (170). He was an AHL First-Team All-Star in 1989-90 after recording a career-high 16 goals and 59 points in 70 games.
McSween also won numerous awards as a member of the Americans. He won five straight team Defensive Player of the Year awards (1987-92) as well as picking up team MVP honors in 1990-91 and in 1989-90, was the co-winner of the Amerks McCulloch Trophy for community service. He became just the 40th member and the ninth blueliner to be inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame in Feb., 2005.
In addition to Rochester, he made stops in San Diego (IHL, 1992-94), Anaheim (NHL, 1993-96), Baltimore (AHL, 1995-96), Grand Rapids (IHL, 1996-98), Milwaukee (IHL, 1997-98) and Muskego (UHL, 1998-200). All told, he played in 47 career NHL games (nine with Buffalo and 38 with Anaheim), posting three goals and 10 assists for 13 points.
McSween and his wife Debbie live in Grand Rapids, Mich., have three children - Matthew, Trevor and Rachel.
MSU Hockey Banquet Information
The 2005 Hockey Awards Banquet will be held on Monday, March 7 at the Holiday Inn South in Lansing. Tickets are $50 each ($15 of that amount goes to the Ralph Young Fund for the hockey program). For applications or additional information, contact the Ralph Young Fund at 517.432.4610.
Don McSween (1984-87) will receive the 2005 Spartan Hockey Distinguished Alumnus Award on Monday, March 7, at the hockey awards banquet.