Four-time Stanley Cup champion Chris Kunitz retires after 15 NHL seasons

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Chris Kunitz (14) has announced his retirement from the NHL. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Chris Kunitz has announced his retirement from the NHL after 15 seasons. The veteran winger is joining the Chicago Blackhawks, who he played for last season, as a player development adviser.

In his new role Kunitz will provide assistance to Blackhawks coaches at the NHL and AHL level.

Kunitz, 39, played for the Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Blackhawks, winning four Stanley Cups (one with the Ducks and three with the Penguins). He also appeared in one all-star game and won an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2014.

“I feel very fortunate to have been a part of four amazing organizations over the last 15 years,” Kunitz said in a press release. “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.”

Kunitz retires having played 1,022 games and scored 268 goals and 619 points. He made the playoffs in 13 of his 15 seasons, where he scored 27 goals and 93 points in 127 games.

In his final season with the Blackhawks, Kunitz was limited to only 56 games and had five goals and 10 points.

“Chris had an outstanding professional career. His four Stanley Cups and Olympic gold medal speak for themselves,” Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said in a statement. “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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