Today, Blues blueliner Carl Gunnarsson announces his retirement after 12 seasons in the National Hockey League.
As sad as it can be to watch somebody move on from the sport they love, Boom Boom can look back and say he reached the pinnacle that most players will never reach in their career and was a consummate professional and teammate.
What do we remember Gunnarsson for the most? More than likely you will answer with his epic game winning goal in game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals to give the Blues their first win in the big dance in franchise history before capturing the Cup just weeks later. Or, if you go by recent history, the horrific leg injury that more than likely lead to this decision to retire.
It is always sad to know that a player does not retire on their own terms or go out the way they would necessarily plan, but that is the nature of sport and the 34 year old D-Man can sleep a little easier with the accomplishments on and off the ice he achieved in his 12 seasons.
Gunnarsson played in 628 games posting 30 goals, 108 assists and a +55 rating over that span. Nobody will remember #4 for his offensive prowess or laying heavy wood on opponents, but when you needed a big play or were in a clutch situation, Gunnarsson was that guy you could always rely on.
“Boom Boom Gunnarsson” also left with some flair, throwing his own reflection on his career out there for the public to see, and it will bring you to tears. “My wife and I found that it is an amazing place to raise a family. Our two kids were born here, and the people of St. Louis made us feel more than welcome. We are truly proud to have been able to call St. Louis our home for the last seven years”, Gunnarsson said of his time in St. Louis. Check out the full reflection for yourself if you want to be moved.
To keep it short and sweet. We love you Carl and best of luck in retirement. Thank you for what you did for St. Louis the past 7 years and may the best come for you and your family.
Photo Credit: stlouisgametime.com
Excerpts from: “Goodbye to The Game I Love” by Carl Gunnarsson nhl.com