East Lansing — Listen to Mackenzie MacEachern, and it’s difficult to pinpoint what was the most unforgettable experience.
Lifting the Stanley Cup, once MacEachern’s St. Louis Blues defeated Boston in Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup? Or the day MacEachern had with the Cup last month, seeing all the joyful faces in and around his hometown of Bloomfield Hills as he shared the experience with family and friends?
Or, the parade in St. Louis after the Blues won, or reliving the second-half run the Blues had — remember, they were last in the entire NHL on Jan. 3 — on the way to the playoffs?
So many great, unforgettable memories.
“It was real cool getting called up in January and kind of seeing where the team was at, and where the team went,” said MacEachern, a former Michigan State standout who is participating this week in the Spartan Pro Camp. “It was pretty cool just to be on the run at the end of January and start of February, where we went on a 11-game win streak and just carried that momentum into the playoffs.”
MacEachern has been on a steady path to the NHL, finally landing last season with the Blues.
MacEachern, 25, was a 2012 third-round pick of St. Louis after being named Mr. Hockey and leading Birmingham Brother Rice to the state championship in 2012, putting up 90 points (42 goals, 48 assists) in 29 games.
After playing junior hockey in Chicago, then three years at Michigan State, MacEachern signed with the Blues.
MacEachern was in his third minor-league season this winter before the Blues called him up, just as their own turnaround began to take shape.
“The team was there all along, just a bunch of new faces and it took a little bit of time to get familiar with everyone,” MacEachern said of what sparked the Blues. “Everything kind of fell into place and started clicking. Once we got a couple of wins, everyone got confidence and it took off from there.”
In 29 games with the Blues MacEachern had five points (three goals, two assists). He was on the playoff roster, but didn’t get to see any playing time.
But that didn’t take away from the excitement and enjoyment of the entire Stanley Cup journey with many of MacEachern's teammates.
“A great experience, to be along for it, and just seeing where the team was in January,” MacEachern said.
MacEachern’s smile broadens when he talks about lifting the Stanley Cup in Boston after the Blues went on the road and won in Game 7.
“You kind of block everything out, you don’t hear much, you’re just in the moment,” MacEachern said of skating with the Stanley Cup. “You kind of dream about those things as a kid.”
MacEachern had his day with the Stanley Cup in late July. He celebrated with his parents Ron and Pamela, two brothers and sister, and relatives and friends, beginning the day at Children’s Hospital in Detroit and taking it to his dad’s workplace in Troy, before taking it to Birmingham and enjoying a party with family and friends in the evening.
“It was all over the place, and it was fun to share it with family and friends,” MacEachern said. “It was definitely cool to see the joy it brought to everybody. Just sharing that moment was pretty special.”
This week in East Lansing is definitely an opportunity for MacEachern to begin focusing on the upcoming season, while working with fellow Michigan State alums in pro hockey.
The Blues will be returning mainly the same roster that made the big second-half surge. MacEachern will be in a battle for jobs available among the forwards, along with other prospects in the Blues’ system.
“I’m going to take it day by day and give the best version of myself, show what I can bring to the table,” MacEachern said. “The rest is out of my control. I’ll just do what I can.”
MacEachern is excited about the chance of again reliving the excitement and Stanley Cup joy next summer.
“We have a lot of the same team (returning),” MacEachern said. “We just have to stick to what we do best and what we did at the end of last year. We can’t look too far ahead.”