Chris Kunitz Retires, Joins Blackhawks' Coaching Staff

Kunitz played 15 NHL seasons.

(670 The Score) -- Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz has retired and will join the organization's hockey operations department as a player development adviser, the team announced Tuesday morning.

Kunitz, 39, played 15 NHL seasons, including the 2018-'19 season in Chicago. He recorded 619 points in 1,022 career games and won four Stanley Cups -- with the Ducks in 2007 and with the Penguins in 2009, 2016 and 2017.

"On behalf of myself and my entire family, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce my official retirement from the National Hockey League," Kunitz said in a statement.

"I feel very fortunate to have been a part of four amazing organizations over the last 15 years. First and foremost, I’d like to sincerely thank the Anaheim Ducks, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks. Every one of these organizations was the ultimate example, not only to me, but to my children, on what true professionalism should be.

"Secondly, I’d like to thank the owners, coaches, trainers, management. Your love for the game, the team and the community was exemplified daily. I am very fortunate to have worked with every one of you.

"Finally, to my teammates, thank you for everything. As a young player you taught me to give my very best. Your leadership helped mold me into the player I knew I could be. I was given the opportunity to play with the very best teams and the very best players and I’m grateful for the laughs and the friendships that we shared together. Thank you for making my childhood dream come true."

In his new role, Kunitz will assist the Blackhawks' coaching staff and also that of the Rockford Icehogs, the team's affiliate in the AHL.

"Chris had an outstanding professional career," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said in a statement. "His four Stanley Cups and Olympic gold medal speak for themselves. While coaching him last year, I recognized what an asset he would be for our staff and the organization. I’m very pleased to have him a part of our coaching group and also use him as a development resource for our young players in Rockford."