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Chris Kunitz announces retirement after 15 NHL seasons

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Chris Kunitz has decided to hang up the skates.

The veteran forward announced Tuesday that he will retire from NHL, and take on a role as a player development adviser for the Chicago Blackhawks.

“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” said Kunitz in a statement.

“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.”

“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.”

The 39-year old, who went undrafted, amassed 268 goals, 351 assists and plus-184 rating over 15 seasons and 1,022 career regular season games, and posted 93 points in 127 playoff games split between the Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Chicago Blackhawks)

Kunitz has won four Stanley Cups (three with Penguins, one with Ducks) and an Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada in 2014.

Hockey

Flames announce the firing of head coach Bill Peters

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After a prolonged investigation, the Calgary Flames have come to the decision that they will relieve head coach Bill Peters of his duties on Friday. General Manager Brad Treliving will hold a news conference at 1230pm/ET to officially announce and explain the reasoning behind the firing.

The news comes four days after he was accused of using racial slurs towards former pro hockey player Akim Aliu while coaching the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs a decade ago. Peters initially kept silent after the story broke on social media, but once Aliu’s former teammates basically confirmed the incident did occur, he sent out a letter apologizing for his actions.

He has also been accused of kicking former NHL defenceman Michal Jordan in the back, and punching another unnamed player while he was head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes sometime between 2012-2016.

Peters, 53, was only in his second season as the Flames’ head coach. The led the team to a combined 62-37-11 regular season record during his tenure.

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Rasmus Dahlin out indefinitely with concussion

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Things keep on going south for the Buffalo Sabres.

Not only have they lost 11 of their past 13 games, but to add insult to injury they found out their star defenceman will be sidelined for a while.

The team confirmed that 2018 first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a concussion.

The 19-year old Swede, who is in his second NHL season, sustained the head injury when he was elbowed by Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak during the team’s 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this week. Cernak ended up being punished by the league with a two-game suspension that began on Wednesday vs the Blues.

Rasmus Dahlin (26) bleeding on the ice after getting elbowed by Erik Cernak on Monday night.

Dahlin has posted a goal, 15 assists and a plus-2 rating in 24 games this season.

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Islanders set franchise record with 16-game point streak

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The New York Islanders’ magical season continues.

Thanks to Brock Nelson’s overtime goal to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Thursday night, the Islanders secured a club record by registering at least a point in their 16th consecutive game.

“Good win by us, sticking with it. It was nice to get the win in overtime…We’ve won a number of different ways now on this run” said Nelson.

The Islanders have posted a jaw-dropping 15-0-1 record during this streak, and haven’t lost a game in regulation since October 11 vs the Carolina Hurricanes. They followed that defeat with a ten-game win streak before losing in overtime to the Penguins on November 7th. They’ve since followed that with five straight wins.

They currently sit second in the Metropolitan Division and the entire league with 33 points a record of 16-3-1 through 20 games. They are only three points behind the first-place Washington Capitals despite playing four less games.

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