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Former Penguin Chris Kunitz retires from the NHL

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A quick salute to one of the most accomplished players in the world!

Pittsburgh Penguins Victory Parade And Rally Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Chris Kunitz has called it a playing career, but true to form the hard worker already has a gig lined up with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Penguins also recognized the end of this fabulous career with a nod to all Kunitz’s accomplishments.

And again:

The man did pretty much nothing but win!

We’ll have more on Kunitz’s career and time with the Pens later on, but one thing I wanted to share was just the story of perseverance. In the fall of 2005 Kunitz was 26 years old. He wasn’t drafted. Anaheim waived him with a career NHL stat-line of 21 games, no goals. The lowly Atlanta Thrashers claimed him. Played him two games. No points. Waived him.

That could have been it, or a tough way to carve out any sort of meaningful career. Anaheim reclaimed him and Kunitz went on to have a pretty good 2005-06 (41 points in 67 games with the Ducks), then settled on one of their top lines and was instrumental in helping with their Stanley Cup in 2007. And just like that he was a made man.

Looking back on Kunitz’s career it seems all very charmed and accomplished, but back towards the fall of 2005 he was basically going no where fast. Getting waived by a team like the Thrashers has to be a career-low point. But he kept at it and made the most of an opportunity, which I think is something to take in any aspect of life. So that’s one thing that I think Chris Kunitz should be remembered for, in addition to all the big goals and assists and hits and wins over the years. He carved out one of the more unique and best careers imaginable, and against all odds too. It was a pleasure to watch.