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Keith Tkachuk announces his retirement from NHL

Image (1) Tkachuk-thumb-200x300-8809.jpg for post 747

We’re coming to the end of an era.

The past few years, and continuing on this year and into the next, the NHL is losing some of it’s most memorable players from the 1990’s. Many of the players that have retired or will retire soon had some great seasons this past decade, but I’ll always remember them for what they did for this sport in the 1990’s.

Those ten years, the NHL experienced some amazing growth both as a league and in popularity among the fans. At the core of this growth was a number of extremely exciting players that helped make the NHL into what it is today. Forget the issues the NHL is having that led up to the lockout, or even what’s gone wrong afterward; these players defined the game for a generation.

With Mike Modano likely playing his final games this season, the past few years (and the next few) will see a number of the best players from the 90’s retire: Sergei Federov, Jeremy Roenick, Nicklas Lidstrom, Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya and even Chris Chelios (who is amazingly still playing) have all or will end their careers soon.

Tonight, Keith Tkachuk announced his retirement. He has most of the past seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues, and will play his final home game on Friday.From a statement released by the NHL:

“I have been privileged to have a long career in this terrific league and play for first class organizations,” said Tkachuk. “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 will go down as one of the greatest American players ever to grace the ice in the NHL, with 525 career goals (to this point) and 1,033 points in 1, 134 career games. He finished with 50+ goals twice while with the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes and along with Jeremy Roenick was crucial in establishing hockey out in the desert.

It’s going to be sad to see Tkachuk go, who was a great ambassador for USA hockey. Here’s to two goals, an assist and 6 penalty minutes in his final game. It would only be fitting.