Blues' Carl Gunnarsson announces retirement after 12 NHL seasons

St. Louis Blues defenceman Carl Gunnarsson has announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Defenceman Carl Gunnarsson, who spent the final seven seasons of his 12-year career with the St. Louis Blues, has announced his retirement in an essay published on the Blues' website.

A steady stay-at-home defenceman, Gunnarsson famously scored the overtime winner in Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final to give the Blues their first-ever win in a final. St. Louis would go on to defeat the Boston Bruins in seven games to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

"As I hang up my skates for the last time I'm not sure what the future holds for me. But I know I'll love the game of hockey, no matter how hard she makes it," Gunnarsson wrote.

"So I'd like to thank her, the game of hockey, for letting me love her and for all that she has given.

"I'd like to thank all the fans, friends, staff, coaches, teammates and everyone I've crossed paths with during my time with her.

"And to my family - none of this would've been possible without you. I love you."

The Blues acquired Gunnarsson from the Toronto Maple Leafs in June of 2014 and he found a home on the St. Louis blue line after the move. He is one of only 10 defencemen to skate in over 300 games and record a plus-40 career rating with the Blues and finishes his career with 629 games played, 30 goals, 138 points and a plus-55 rating.

“Carl is the consummate professional and has been a great player for the Blues for the past seven seasons,” said Blues President of Hockey Operations and GM Doug Armstrong in a statement. “From his legendary goal in Game 2 of the finals to his numerous contributions to the St. Louis community, he will continue to be a shining example for current and future Blues.”

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