Don McSween

Don McSween will forever be remembered as the player who collected unemployment insurance during the NHL lockout season of 1994-95. Don had a $300,000 contract with the Ducks and was ruled to be eligible for a maximum unemployment claim of $230 a week for 26 weeks. While 300 Grand isn't much by NHL standards, it's still not bad for a guy who makes 10 times as much as most of the fans. Needless to say McSween's UI claim didn't go over well with the fans.

Don played collegiate hockey at Michigan State University. The Detroit native was a standout blueliner for the Spartans. Three times he was a CCHA First All Star, two times he was a NCAA All American and two times he was a NCAA Championship All Tournament team member.

The Buffalo Sabres drafted McSween with their 10th choice, 154th overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. However things never panned out for McSween in Buffalo. Despite strong play with the affiliate Rochester Americans, McSween only played in 9 games in a Sabres uniform. McSween, who was 5'11" and 197lbs, was considered to be a bit small and a bit slow by NHL standards.

After signing as a free agent with the IHL's San Diego Gulls, Don signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Jan. 12, 1994. It was a good move for Don who finished the year with the NHL expansion team. He played in 32 games and scored 12 points, including 3 goals. By the end of the year he was asked to represent the United States at the World Championships.  Things were really looking up for McSween.

However the NHL lockout really put out whatever spark that Don had been able to ignite. After taking some flack over the whole unemployment insurance incident, McSween and the rest of the NHL returned to the ice in January of 1995. McSween's stint was short, as he appeared in just two games before suffering a very serious injury. A skate had come up and cut Don's forearm. Don would be out of action for more than a calendar year.

Don returned to action late in the 1995-96 season. He appeared in 4 games before Anaheim sent him down to minor leagues to be replaced with younger Darren Van Impe. McSween, who had been unable to do much in the previous year, had suffered a major set back in his hockey career.

Don did manage to return to a solid level of play in the minor leagues but at his advanced age it appears that his NHL stints are done.


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