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Rivermen introduce McDonald, Pleau

St. Louis Blues senior vice president & general manager Larry Pleau announced today that the club has named Kevin McDonald as general manager of the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen, the club’s top affiliate.

McDonald also will retain his title as director of professional scouting with the Blues.

“Kevin will be invaluable in this role as the Rivermen franchise establishes itself at the highest level of minor professional hockey, and the St. Louis Blues continue their player development activities,” said Pleau.

McDonald, 40, entered into his career at the National Hockey League level in 1988-89 with the New York Rangers and held several different positions, including director of communications, while working in the hockey operations department. In 1994-95 he began working as a professional scout, reporting to then-assistant GM Larry Pleau. During his tenure with the Rangers, he played a role in the organization’s momentous 1994 Stanley Cup championship. He later received a Calder Cup ring after the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, captured the championship in 2000.

McDonald started a new chapter in his career by joining the Blues as a pro scout in 2000, and was subsequently promoted to director of professional scouting in 2003.

Additionally, the Blues announced that they have named Steve Pleau as associate head coach of the Rivermen. Pleau, the son of the Blues’ senior VP and GM, most recently served as the assistant coach with the AHL’s Worcester IceCats.

“Given his past role as a member the coaching staff in Worcester, it seemed like a natural choice to ask Steve to replace Don Granato while Don undergoes his recovery from cancer,” said Larry Pleau. “Steve stepped in at several points last season on an interim basis and proved that he could lead this team and coach successfully at the AHL level.”

Steve Pleau, 31, was hired as the assistant coach with Worcester prior to the start of the 1998-99 campaign. Since then, he has fostered the growth of St. Louis prospects through on-ice development, conditioning, video breakdown, opponent pre-scouting and player evaluation. During IceCats games he also handled the defensive side of the bench and throughout the summers he oversaw the conditioning program of future Blues.

“Obviously Don’s health issues have made for an unfortunate situation, but he has played an integral role in preparing me for this type of challenge and I look forward to accepting it,” said Steve Pleau. “On a personal level, it is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family, and I am looking ahead to next season with high goals for our fans and the utmost confidence in our team.”