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Veteran NHL forward Tkachuk announces retirement after 19-season career @NHLdotcom

ST. LOUIS - Veteran St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk is calling it a career.

In a statement released by the Blues on Wednesday, Tkachuk said he will retire after 19 NHL seasons at the end of the 2009-10 campaign. "I have been privileged to have a long career in this terrific league and play for first class organizations," Tkachuk said. "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."

Tkachuk was drafted by Winnipeg in the first round, 19th overall, of the 1990 draft. The five-time all-star had his best offensive year in 1995-96 with 50 goals and 48 assists. The next season, he accompanied the Jets as they moved to Phoenix.

During his career, the 38-year-old native of Melrose, Mass., accumulated 1,063 points (538 goals, 525 assists) in 1,200 games. A well-known agitator, he also picked up 2,219 penalty minutes. fourth player in NHL history with 1,000 points and 2,200 penalty minutes.

He is just the fourth player in NHL history with 1,000 points and 2,200 penalty minutes.

In post-season play, he totalled 28 goals and 28 assists and 176 penalty minutes in 89 games.

He also represented the United States at four Olympic Games, and was part of the silver-medal winning team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

"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."

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