Chris Kunitz announced today (July 30th, 2019) that he will be hanging up his skates after 15 seasons in the NHL. It wasn’t as much of a shock to the world seeing as the 39-year-old was still unsigned this far into the off-season. Kunitz has a fantastic story, going from an undrafted 6’0″, 188 lbs winger to a 4 time Stanley Cup champion and Olympic Gold Medalist.
Kunitz had a fruitful career, playing 1,022 regular season games with 4 teams: The Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Chicago Blackhawks. He finished with 268 goals, 351 assists for 619 points. He had a career rating of +184 and 46 GWGs.
Kunitz won 4 Stanley Cups, 1 with the Anaheim Ducks and 3 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kunitz played in 178 playoff games with 27 goals, 66 assists bringing him to 93 points and a +5 rating.
Although Kunitz is leaving his playing days behind, he’ll be joining the Chicago Blackhawks’ hockey operations department at both the NHL and AHL level. Kunitz will specialize as a player development adviser. Kunitz talked to the press, thanking the 4 teams he played for, his coaches and management. Lastly, Chris spoke to his teammates:
“Finally, to my teammates, thank you for everything. As a young player you taught me to give my very best. Your leadership helped mold me into the player I knew I could be. I was given the opportunity to play with the very best teams and the very best players and I’m grateful for the laughs and the friendships that we shared together. Thank you for making my childhood dream come true.” (x)
Kunitz will be missed on the ice but with his experience, he has a lot to offer to the Blackhawks organization.
Featured Image: CBS