UPDATE: Fans are invited to Keith Tkachuk's retirement press conference on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in the Scottrade Center Atrium.
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|Blues forward Keith Tkachuk will retire at the end of the season and will hold a press conference in the Scottrade Center atrium on Apr. 13 at 12:30 p.m. (Getty Images). |
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk has announced Wednesday that he will retire after 19 seasons from the National Hockey League (NHL) at the end of the 2009-10 season. He will play in front of Blues fans for the final time this Friday night against Anaheim and the club will pay tribute to Tkachuk’s career following the game.
“I have been privileged to have a long career in this terrific league and play for first class organizations,” said Tkachuk. “My thanks go out to my current and former teammates, the St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets and Atlanta Thrashers organizations and most of all to my parents, my wife Chantal, my kids Matthew, Braeden and Taryn along with all of my other family members for all of the support they have given me throughout my career.”
“Walt has been an amazing ambassador for the St. Louis Blues,” said Dave Checketts, Chairman, St. Louis Blues. “I had a very nice talk with him today and conveyed what an honor it has been to have him in the organization. I thanked him for the effort he put in on and off the ice each and every day he has been a Blue. He will always be a cherished member of the St. Louis Blues Family and I look forward to celebrating his career in the appropriate fashion, bestowing upon him the honors he most certainly deserves.”
“Keith is a true warrior who had an excellent career and I was hoping this day would never come,” said Blues President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. “The NHL is losing an individual who gave a lot of time and dedication to the game and I wish him and his family a happy retirement and the best of luck.”
During his career, the 38-year-old veteran played in 1,200 regular season games and accumulated 1,063 points on 538 goals and 525 assists to go along with 2,219 penalty minutes. In addition, Tkachuk’s playoff career has encompassed 89 games, 56 points on 28 goals and 28 assists and 176 penalty minutes.
While with St. Louis, Tkachuk has accumulated 540 appearances while collecting 209 goals and 216 assists for 425 points and 676 penalty minutes. On November 30, 2008, Tkachuk became the 72nd NHL player and seventh U.S.-born player to reach 1,000 points, and in doing so, joined Bernie Federko, Al MacInnis and Pierre Turgeon as the only NHL players to reach that milestone while donning the Blue Note. This season, the 6’2” 235-pound left-winger has achieved a few milestones including his 500th game as a Blue on November 30, 2009 and his 1,200th NHL game on April 5, 2010. In addition, on January 30, 2010, Tkachuk served his 2,200th career penalty minute becoming just the fourth player in NHL history to collect 2,200 penalty minutes and over 1,000 points in their career.
Overall, the four-time United States Olympian and Silver Medalist (2002) features prominently in several Blues franchise categories and a few all-time NHL lists. In St. Louis franchise history, Tkachuk ranks seventh in game-winning goals (29), sixth in points (425), fifth in goals (209) and fourth in power play goals (96). The five-time NHL All-Star ranks tenth on the NHL’s all-time power play goals list (212), seventh in goals (538) and eight in points (1,063) among left-wingers as well as second in career goals (538) and fifth in total points (1,063) among U.S. born players.
The Melrose, Massachusetts native was originally drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, 19th overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. Tkachuk will be sidelined this evening against Chicago due to a lower body injury.
A press conference will be held on Tuesday, April 13 for the media and for Blues fans in the atrium at Scottrade Center at 12:30 p.m.