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|Keith Tkachuk played his final game in St. Louis on Friday vs. Anaheim. The 19-year NHL veteran announced he would retire at the end of the season, which concludes Saturday in Nashville. (Getty Images). |
The game may not have meant much from a standings perspective, but Friday's home finale vs. Anaheim was anything but forgettable.
Especially for Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, who announced Wednesday that he would retire at the end of the season
, which concludes Saturday in Nashville.
Tkachuk finishes his 19-year NHL career with more than 1,202 games played, 538 goals, 527 assists and 2,219 penalty minutes.
"It is difficult but it's been a long run. I've enjoyed every team I've played for," Tkachuk said Wednesday during a first period television interview on FS Midwest. "I owe everything to the game of hockey.
"I had a great run here in St. Louis. I think the one thing I'm most proud of is the fact that I'm going to retire as a Blue."
With friends and family in attendance, Friday's game marked Tkachuk's final game in St. Louis.
"I knew the fans would give him an unbelievable send off and he's such a great guy," said goalie Chris Mason. "I feel real fortunate that I had a chance to play with him."
Said David Perron
, "(My first year), he got on me for making sure you do everything as a professional hockey player. He was trying to get me started off the right way and I'm really glad I got to play with him.
"I'll miss him a lot."
In addition to Tkachuk's farewell to St. Louis fans, the team randomly selected fans to go to ice level after the game and get a game-worn jersey directly from a Blues player. The "Jerseys Off Their Backs" promotion was sponsored by Verizon Wireless, who presented the Fan Appreciation Game.
Fans are encouraged to attend Keith Tkachuk's retirement press conference in the Scottrade Center atrium on Tuesday, Apr. 13 at 12:30 p.m. Visit stlouisblues.com late Tuesday afternoon for complete coverage of Tkachuk's retirement.