Veteran forward spent his last two seasons with St. Louis,
goes out a Stanley Cup champion; didn't play in 2019-20 season
ST. LOUIS -- When Alex Pietrangelo got the Stanley Cup first from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, there was no denying who he was going to give it to.
What may have been overlooked, though, by some was how quickly Chris Thorburn, who played a grand total of 1 minute 52 seconds in one game (Oct. 13, 2018 against Chicago) last season, was in line to get his hands on it.
|(St. Louis Blues photo)|
Chris Thorburn announced his retirement from the NHL on
Monday after 14 season, including last two with the Blues.
No, not at the end with the black aces or those who were marginal players during the season, but how about fourth in line? Right after Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester and Alexander Steen, who handed the Cup to Thorburn fourth and yelled, "Let's go Thorby! Let's go!"
For a guy who spent one full season in St. Louis, played 50 games in 2017-18 before spending all but that one game in San Antonio of the American Hockey League before the Blues brought him up late in the season and for the playoffs to help with insurance purposes to help his young autistic son Bennett, that's how much the veteran was revered in that locker room.
On Monday, Thorburn's walk into the sunset as a Stanley Cup champion became official when the veteran of 801 regular-season games spanning 14 seasons announced his retirement from the league.
"To finish my hockey career with the St. Louis Blues and finally get an opportunity to lift the Stanley Cup over my head, I could not have scripted a better way to go out," Thorburn said in a statement. "Thank you to (Blues general manager) Doug Armstrong and (owner) Tom Stillman, as well as (coach) Craig Berube, the coaching staff and the training staff. Most importantly, thank you to my Blues teammates for taking me on a journey of a lifetime."
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native was drafted 50th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round of the 2001 NHL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward went on to play for four NHL franchises, the Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets and lastly, the Blues; he finished with 134 points (53 goals, 81 assists) and 968 penalty minutes playing the physical role.
Thorburn signed a two-year contract with the Blues as a free agent prior to the 2017-18 season; he now resides in Michigan with his wife Sara and their three children (Bennett, Mary and Oscar).
"It was an unbelievable ride with a storybook ending," Thorburn said. "As tough as it is to close this chapter, I am excited for the new adventures ahead for myself and my family.
"Thank you to everyone who supported me, believed in me, and influenced me throughout my hockey career. The Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues all took a chance on me and for that I am forever grateful."