Gunnarsson retires from hockey, won Stanley Cup with Blues in 2019

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Carl Gunnarsson, who helped the St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019, announced his retirement from professional hockey Wednesday.

A knee injury sustained by the 34-year-old defenseman ended his season Feb. 22 against the Los Angeles Kings. He had two assists and averaged 14:26 of ice time in 12 games.

“That’s a guy that has laid it on the line for this organization for a long time,” Blues forward Brayden Schenn said after Gunnarsson was injured. “He’s a [heck] of a teammate and a good guy. The guy is an absolute warrior. It’s tough to see.”

Gunnarsson played seven of his 12 NHL seasons for the Blues, scoring 52 points (15 goals, 37 assists) in 325 regular-season games with St. Louis.

During the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Gunnarsson scored three points (one goal, two assists), including an overtime goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.

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

St. Louis acquired Gunnarsson and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (Ville Husso) from the Toronto Maple Leafs on June 28, 2014 for defenseman Roman Polak.

Gunnarsson is in the final season of a two-year, $3.5 million contract ($1.75 million average annual value) he agreed to with the Blues on June 27, 2019.

Selected by the Maple Leafs in the seventh round (No. 194) of the 2007 NHL Draft, Gunnarsson scored 138 points (30 goals, 108 assists) in 629 regular-season games with Toronto and St. Louis, and seven points (one goal, six assists) in 68 playoff games.

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