Recently, we talked about OHL grad Matt Pelech signing in Germany with the Schwenninger Wild Wings. Pelech will be joined by fellow Ontario Hockey League alumnus Joey MacDonald. MacDonald, a goaltender with plenty of NHL experience, has signed a one year deal with the club. What’s interesting is that Joey hasn’t played a pro playoff game since 2003-04. He joins a team that has not qualified for the post season over the past two seasons. It’s going to take a major turnaround by the team for MacDonald to see the post season in the DEL in 2015-16.
MacDonald played three years in the OHL from 1998-99 to 2000-01, all with the Peterborough Petes. Undrafted to the OHL, the native of Pictou, Nova Scotia played 17 games in the QMJHL with the Halifax Mooseheads during the 1997-98 season before heading west to Ontario.
During his three years in Peterborough, MacDonald was the team’s number one goalie. His game time increased over his stay, culminating in a 57 game season in 2000-01.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, MacDonald has played pro hockey since 2001-02 in the ECHL, AHL and NHL. Joey has played in 133 NHL games and 329 AHL games. However, he has played in just three post season matches, all in the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs. His last playoff game was in 2003-04 with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
In just his second season of pro hockey, 2002-03, MacDonald shared the Harry Holmes Memorial Award with Marc Lamothe as the AHL’s best goaltending duo. Lamothe played in 60 regular season games for the Griffins while Joey played in 25. Grand Rapids finished second overall in the AHL and lost in the Western Conference finals to the Houston Aeros. Lamothe played all but one game in the playoffs.
MacDonald saw NHL action from 2006-07 to 2013-14 with the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames. He was called up to the Montreal Canadiens during the 2014-15 season but did not get on the ice.
Although his time in the NHL was mostly spent as a backup or in a call up role, during the 2008-09 season MacDonald was number one with the Islanders, appearing in 49 games. New York finished last overall in the league, earning the Golden Seals Cup and also earning the right to draft John Tavares first overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
This past season, 2014-15, MacDonald backed up Mike Condon in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Joey appeared in 26 games, posting a 2.77 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. The Bulldogs did not qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs.
Joey has signed for one year with the Schwenninger Wild Wings in Germany’s elite Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). As mentioned, the team has been in, or close to, to cellar over the past two seasons and has not qualified for the post season. The Wild Wings have signed Matt Pelech, an OHL grad with NHL experience, and are looking for some success in 2015-16.