(KMOV.com) — The Blues winning the Stanley Cup last June was a magical chapter in the history of St. Louis sports. For all the memorable storylines that emerged from the Note's spectacular playoff run, one of the most wonderful moments from the championship celebration involved a player who only appeared in one of the team's games during the season.
Former Blue Chris Thorburn, who announced his retirement from the NHL Monday, makes his official exit from the league in the most perfect way imaginable: with Lord Stanley's Cup hoisted above his head.
Despite that Thorburn took the ice for just a few minutes of one contest during the team's Cup run (on October 13 against the Blackhawks), his big moment as a champion came before many of the team's main postseason contributors—thanks to some prodding by David Perron.
Thorburn shared that as the team was celebrating its Game 7 victory on the ice in Boston, Perron began shoving the veteran Thorburn to the front of the receiving line for his moment with the Stanley Cup.
"I'm not taking the Cup before you! Go! Go!," Perron insisted to Thorburn, who eventually conceded and became the fourth Blues player to hoist the Cup, following only the captain Alex Pietrangelo and veterans Jay Bouwmeester and Alexander Steen. It was a testament to the respect his Blues teammates had for Thorburn's NHL resume—which spanned 801 career games—as well as their appreciation for his presence with the team throughout the season.
Former #STLBlues forward Chris Thorburn told #RivsAndBK a great story of how he ended up getting toward the front of the line to touch the Cup. Spoiler: David Perron had a little something to do with it.PODCAST: https://t.co/GZNzIqNlGv pic.twitter.com/IxsYN3Ryfk— 101 ESPN St. Louis (@101espn) June 13, 2020
Thorburn issued the following statement Monday, found in a release on the St. Louis Blues website:
"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.
"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. Thank you to Doug Armstrong and Tom Stillman, as well as 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.
"Thank you to my mom and dad, my brothers, Joey and Mark, and my sisters, Kathleen and Melanie, for your sacrifices and support, which allowed me to chase my childhood dream.
"Thank you to my agent, Steve Bartlett, for your honesty, guidance and friendship.
"Bennett Boy, you were and are my inspiration. Mary, you were Daddy's biggest fan and Oscar, you'll have to listen to a lot of dad's stories. To my wife, Sara, the road was not always easy but you were always in my corner. The grind that you had to endure at times was unimaginable but you never complained. Out of all the great teammates that I've had throughout my career, you are my favorite. Thank you for everything!
"It was an unbelievable ride with a storybook ending. As tough as it is to close this chapter, I am excited for the new adventures ahead for myself and my family."
Thorburn appeared in 50 games for St. Louis the previous season, and culminates his NHL career with 53 goals and 83 assists across 14 seasons.
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