(Courtesy of the Memphis RiverKings) SOUTHAVEN---Even though it wasnt a real secret that he was coming back, the Memphis RiverKings announced today they have signed their all-time leading scorer Don Parsons for the 2005-2006 season. He is the first player signed by the team for the upcoming campaign. Parsons announced at the conclusion of the final game of the season on March 19 that he intended to come back for another season. The 36 year- old native of Boston, Massachusetts will be entering his 14th pro season and his sixth with the RiverKings.
This is where I want to end my playing career, Parsons said. I feel great going into the season and feel that we have some unfinished business after missing the playoffs last season.
Parsons had a record book-type season last year with a number of accomplishments including reaching 1,000 career points, becoming the RiverKings all-time leading scorer, picking up his 500th career assist thus becoming one of 16 players to have 500 goals and 500 assists, and his 55 goals last season led all North American professional hockey league players. He was also named to the first ever All-C.H.L. Team.
Along with the all-time scoring crown, Parsons is also the career franchise leader in goals (261), hat tricks (15), playoff games (37), playoff scoring (61 points) and playoff goals (33).
Last year was fun with all the records but, like I have said before, those are things that will probably mean more to me in a few years, he said. Right now, the matter at hand is to try and win another cup for the RiverKings.
New Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin McClelland is one person that is very glad to have Parsons in the fold for this upcoming season.
Anytime you can have a player with his accomplishments on your team with his kind of experience and leadership, it is a big benefit for your team, McClelland explained. In addition, he is a professional both on and off the ice.
The two-time Central Hockey League M.V.P. will enter the season with 1060 career points, 556 goals and 504 assists in 759 professional games. His total of 315 RiverKings games is three games shy of Derek Grants record of 317. Along with the C.H.L., he has played in the E.C.H.L., A.H.L., I.H.L. and the U.H.L. He has played for the Nashville Knights, Tallahassee Tiger Sharks, Johnstown Chiefs, Worcester Ice Cats, Baton Rouge Kingfish, Louisiana IceGators, Manitoba Moose, Cleveland Lumberjacks, Flint Generals, St. Johns Maple Leafs and the RiverKings.
Parsons has been a part of league championships with Flint of the U.H.L. in 2000 and with Memphis in 2002 and 2003. He has been to five straight C.H.L. All-Star Games and is the all-time leading goal scorer and shares the all-time lead for points in CHL All-Star Game history. He has led his respective league in goal scoring four times including three of the last four seasons with the RiverKings and won the CHLs Joe Burton Scoring award with 113 points in his first season with the RiverKings in 2000-2001. In his collegiate career at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Parsons was a defenseman who scored 18 goals in four years. He had 17 goals in the month of January, 2005 alone.
Off the ice, Parsons has made a huge impact with his Parsons Pledge that has raised over $75,000 for selected charities in the last three years. He has also helped organize and operate the Junior RiverKings and Junior StreetKings youth hockey programs.
Don Parsons is also featured in the CHL Player Profile Section