Born and raised in the New Brunswick/Maine border town of St. Stephen, Don was selected 166th overall by the Bruins in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He was ranked among the top blueliners throughout his four years attending Harvard University on a sports scholarship, where he earned a degree in Economics. He was named an NCAA East All-American and earned a First Team ECAC All-Star berth in 1987/88. Don's brother Mike went to Brown on a sport scholarship for baseball, played in the New York Yankees minor league system, and hit a home run in Boston's Fenway Park during an ECAC All-Star game.
Don was the last player to score a goal in the old Boston Garden. "The Last Hurrah" was a 3-0 win for the Bruins verse bitter rivals the Montreal Canadiens, Don's favorite team growing up.
A solid defenseman, a hard hitter, and leader of great value, Don was always appreciated by fans. Year after year he was a cornerstone of the roster, and rumor has it the New York Rangers attempted to obtain him on a regular basis.
After 15 years in Boston, Don left the black and gold for the Dallas Stars rather than retire and take an offered office job with the Bruins. On September 13, 2005 he quietly retired as a Dallas Star after playing one season for the organization.
He immediately got a job as Dean of Admissions at Phillips Andover Academy and spent a year as a NESN commentator for Bruins and college hockey games.
In 2006 he was hired as the Director of Player Developement for the Bruins organization, where he was responsible for tracking the progress of all prospects in the Bruins system at the AHL, junior hockey and college levels and scouting of professional leagues. In 2007 he was promoted to Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development, taking on more responsibilities along with his prior ones.
He is currently the Assistant General Manager of the Boston Bruins and has held that post since September, 2009.
He still ranks third on the team’s all-time games played list and among all-time club defensemen, he ranks tenth in career goals, eighth in assists and ninth in points.
His wife, Christine, is a professional ice skater. They have twin sons, Jarrod and Tyler.
Don Sweeney was drafted 166th overall in the 1984 Entry Draft by the
Boston Bruins. On October 6, 1988, he made his NHL debut against the
Maple Leafs. Two nights later on October 8, he scored his first goal
against the Whalers. Don played 36 games that season and tallied eight
points. In 1989-90, he scored eight points in 58 games and helped the
team win the Adams Division season title. In the playoffs, he scored
six points in 21 games as the team won the Prince of Wales Trophy
before losing to the Oilers in the Stanley Cup final.
In 1990-91, Don scored 21 points in 77 games as the team again won the
Adams Division season title. In 1991-92, he scored 14 points in 75
games. In the playoffs, Don helped the Bruins reach the Wales
Conference finals before losing to the Penguins. In 1992-93, Don
played all 84 games and tallied 34 points from the blueline. The
Bruins won the Adams Division season title with 109 points in the
standings. In 1993-94, Don scored 21 points in 75 games.
In the shortened 1994-95 season, Don finished second amongst team
defencemen with 22 points in 47 games. In 1995-96, he was again second
only behind Bourque, this time scoring 28 points including three
game-winning goals. In 1996-97, Don played all 82 games and finished
second amongst team defencemen with 26 points. That year, the Bruins
missed the playoffs for the first time in 30 years. In 1997-98, Don
scored 16 points in just 59 games as the Bruins improved 30 points to
get back into the playoffs. Don missed the last 23 games of the season
as well as the playoffs after suffering a fractured shoulder on March
In 1998-99, Don tallied 205 hits and 85 blocked shots in 81 games. In
the playoffs, he helped the Bruins reach the second round. In
1999-2000, he knocked 301 hits and blocked 84 shots. In 2000-01, Don
tallied 182 hits in 72 games.
In 2001-02, Don played 81 games with the Bruins and scored 18 points.
He also finished third on the team with 144 hits and a +22 plus/minus
rating. The Bruins improved 13 points in the standings to win the
Northeast Division title and finish second overall in the league. In
the playoffs, Don scored one assist in six games as the team lost in
the opening round to the Canadiens.
In 2002-03, Don scored eight points in 67 games as the team fell to
third in their division. On November 14, he played in his 1,000th NHL
game. In the playoffs, he scored one assist in five games as the
Bruins lost in the opening round to the Devils.
On July 14, 2003, Don signed as a free agent with the Dallas Stars. In
his first season with his new team, Don scored 11 points and finished
second on the team with a +22 plus/minus rating. The Stars, meanwhile,
won more than 40 games for the seventh time in eight years. In the
playoffs, the Stars lost their opening round matchup to the Avalanche.