Chris Thorburn retires after ‘storybook ending’ with the Blues

St. Louis Blues

In this June 15, 2019 file photo, St. Louis Blues right wing Chris Thorburn waves to fans during the NHL hockey Stanley Cup victory celebration in St. Louis. Thorburn has announced his retirement, Monday, June 22, 2020 after playing more than 800 NHL games since 2005. Thorburn spent his last time on the ice celebrating the St. Louis Blues winning the Stanley Cup last season. (AP Photo/Scott Kane, file)

Veteran forward Chris Thorburn announced his retirement Monday after playing more than 800 NHL games for four different organizations since 2005 and winning the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues.

Thorburn spent his last time on the ice celebrating the Blues winning their first Stanley Cup last season. Despite playing just one game for the Blues in 2018-19, he was the fourth player handed the Cup after Game 7 in Boston.

“We don’t leave a man behind,” Thorburn said at the time. “Everyone’s part of the group, part of something special. Just feels like everyone had a part in it.”

In his announcement through the NHL Players’ Association, Thorburn thanked teammates for taking him on a “journey of a lifetime.”

“It was an unbelievable ride with a storybook ending,” he said. “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 was selected 50th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2001 draft and made his debut for them in 2005. He played 801 regular-season games for the Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets and Blues. He also skated in four playoff games with Winnipeg in 2015.

The 37-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, finishes with 53 goals and 81 assists for 134 points. As a 6-foot-3 tough guy, Thorburn had 968 penalty minutes during his NHL career.

By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer

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