By Christopher Hurley /firstname.lastname@example.org
GateHouse News Service
Playing in the final game of his illustrious 19-year National Hockey League (NHL) career, Medford native Keith Tkachuk once again gave the St. Louis Blues fans something to cheer about picking up two assists, including the game-tying helper, in the Blues 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, April 9, 2010.
It was an emotional night for the 38-year-old All-Star, who announced (in April) that he was retiring from hockey at the end of the 2009-10 season.
“I can’t even think right now,” Tkachuk told the sellout crowd of 19,150, during a special post-game tribute, with his three children, Braeden, Matthew and Taryn by his side at center ice, along with his wife and parents at rinkside. “This has been a dream come true. [From] my parents, my wife, to my children and all the fans, it’s a blessing. I just want to thank all the fans for their support.”
The two assists improve Tkachuk’s NHL Hall-of-Fame caliber numbers to 538 goals, 527 assists and 1,065 points, in 1,201 regular season games.
The Winnipeg Jets originally drafted the Medford Youth Hockey product and a former Malden Catholic Lancer in the first round, 19th overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. Tkachuk relocated with the franchise to Phoenix, skating five seasons with the Coyotes, before finding a new hockey home in St. Louis during the 2000-01 season. Although he was dealt to Atlanta during the Thrashers playoff drive late in 2007, Tkachuk ultimately returned to St. Louis the following season where he finished his career.