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November 21, 2013

St. Louis Blues executive McDonald grew up in Lawrence

BOSTON — Kevin McDonald considers himself one lucky guy.

He’s happily married with two children and three stepchildren. The longtime North Andover resident lives one town over from where he grew up in Lawrence. He loves his job and, unlike many in his line of work, doesn’t often have to stray far from home to do it.

A 1983 graduate of St. John’s Prep, McDonald is the assistant general manager of the St. Louis Blues, who beat the Bruins in a shootout last night. The Blues are currently in second in the Western Division.

Having spent the last 26 years working in the National Hockey League — 13 with the New York Rangers and the last 13 with St. Louis — McDonald is one of the fortunate few who was able to turn a passion into a profession.

He has worked in a myriad of roles, from communications and scouting to player development and management, and still carries the same enthusiasm with him to the rink as he did as a 23-year-old New York Rangers intern in the fall of 1988.

“It’s been good timing and a lot of luck,” said the 48-year-old McDonald. “I’ve had a lot of great experiences with a lot of great people. I’ve been able to get a ton of experience in different areas of the game and the business, all in a sport that I love.”

His primary job these days is coordinating the transfer of players (from the NHL to the American Hockey League and vice versa), as well as acquiring pro players. He travels to rinks in the NHL and AHL (with occasional college games thrown in) to evaluate talent.

A self-made scout — during the 1994-95 lockout, he moved back to his parents’ house and basically taught himself how to evaluate players — McDonald is always on the lookout for players who can help the Blues.

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