St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson announced his retirement from the NHL in an essay published to the team's website on Wednesday.
"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."
-12 NHL seasons.— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) June 23, 2021
-629 regular-season games.
-One of the biggest goals in Blues history.
-THE BEST bathroom story of all-time.
Congratulations @carl_gun on an outstanding career. https://t.co/ovoqn4u2GR #stlblues pic.twitter.com/jth7xAbV8c
The Blues acquired Gunnarsson from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014. His most memorable moment with the franchise came when he 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 went on to defeat the Boston Bruins in seven games to win its first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Gunnarsson was limited to 12 games this season due to a knee injury that likely factored into his decision to hang up the skates. He finishes his career with 138 points (30 goals, 108 assists) in 629 games.