Veteran Canadian offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl announces retirement

Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl (54) greets fans following the Tiger-Cats loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 108th CFL Grey Cup in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, December 12, 2021. (Nick Iwanyshyn/CP)

Veteran Canadian offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl retired Saturday following a distinguished 15-year CFL career.

Van Zeyl, 40, spent the last four seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2019, 2021-23), helping the squad make Grey Cup appearances in 2019 and 2021. He was also named a CFL all-star and the league’s top lineman in 2019.

“Chris’s career in the CFL has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Orlondo Steinauer, Hamilton’s president of football operations. “He has achieved incredible feats both on and off of the field, making him the epitome of professionalism.

“It was awesome to coach Chris over the years, but also rewarding to see him develop into an outstanding leader and person. In addition to expressing sincere appreciation to Chris for the contributions he has made to our organization and the city of Hamilton, we extend our best to him and his family in the future.”

The six-foot-six, 312-pound Van Zeyl, of Fonthill, Ont., played collegiately at McMaster as a defensive lineman. He was selected in the third round, No. 18 overall, by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2007 CFL draft.

Van Zeyl signed with the Toronto Argonauts in 2008 and successfully made the transition to the offensive line. Van Zeyl was a two-time Grey Cup champion (2012, 2017) during his time with the Argos (2008-18) as well as a CFL all-star on two occasions (2013, ’17).

Van Zeyl was also a tireless contributor off the field. He received the Jake Gaudaur Veteran’s Trophy in 2021, which is presented to the player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans.

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