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RELEASE: Chris Kunitz to join Blackhawks coaching staff

Veteran forward retires after 15 seasons in the National Hockey League with four Stanley Cups

by Chicago Blackhawks Media Relations / Blackhawks.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz announced today his retirement following 15 seasons in the National Hockey League. Kunitz will join the Blackhawks hockey operations department as player development adviser, assisting with the Blackhawks coaching staff as well as the coaching staff with Chicago's American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs

Kunitz, 39, appeared in 56 games with the Blackhawks during the 2018-19 season that was highlighted by skating in his 1,000th career NHL game on February 14 when the Blackhawks hosted New Jersey. 

Video: Blackhawks honor Kunitz for 1,000 NHL games

The Regina, Saskatchewan native played in 1,022 career National Hockey League games with Anaheim (2003-05; 2005-09), Atlanta (2005-06), Pittsburgh (2008-17), Tampa Bay (2017-18) and Chicago (2018-19), recording 619 points (268G, 351A). He skated in 178 career Playoff games, notching 93 points (27G, 66A).

Kunitz won four Stanley Cups over the course of his career (Anaheim-2007; Pittsburgh-2009, 2016, 2017), which was the most among NHL players during his last two seasons. 

Kunitz was undrafted and signed as a free agent with Anaheim in 2003. He spent the majority of his 15-year career with Pittsburgh, where he played in 569 career games and recorded 388 points (169G, 219A) from 2008-17. His 169 goals with Pittsburgh ranks ninth in Penguins all-time scoring history. 

Internationally, Kunitz helped Team Canada to a Gold Medal in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He played in six games, scoring a goal in the Gold Medal game against Sweden. Kunitz also earned a Silver Medal with Canada at the 2008 World Championships, where he skated in nine games, recording seven points (2G, 5A).

Kunitz and his wife, Maureen, their son Zach, and, daughters, Payton and Aubrey, will continue to reside in the western suburbs.

STATEMENT FROM CHRIS KUNITZ

"On behalf of myself and my entire family, I'd like to take this opportunity to announce my official retirement from the National Hockey League.

I feel very fortunate to have been a part of four amazing organizations over the last 15 years. First and foremost, I'd like to sincerely thank the Anaheim Ducks, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks. Every one of these organizations was the ultimate example, not only to me, but to my children, on what true professionalism should be.

Secondly, I'd like to thank the owners, coaches, trainers, management. Your love for the game, the team and the community was exemplified daily. I am very fortunate to have worked with every one of you.

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."

STATEMENT FROM BLACKHAWKS HEAD COACH JEREMY COLLITON

"Chris had an outstanding professional career. His four Stanley Cups and Olympic gold medal speak for themselves. While coaching him last year, I recognized what an asset he would be for our staff and the organization. I'm very pleased to have him a part of our coaching group and, also, use him as a development resource for our young players in Rockford."

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