Veteran forward Chris Kunitz has enough gas left in the tank to attempt another one-year stint in the NHL, this one being with Chicago.
Kunitz didn’t really start his NHL career until he was 26, when he played his first full season, with 67 of his 69 games played being with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He won a cup in 2006 with Anaheim.
He went to Pittsburgh in the midst of the 2008-09 season, winning the first of three cups in his stay with the Penguins.
Kunitz has never been a top scorer, but he has always brought depth at the very least. In his heyday, Kunitz would set up 30-35 goals a season, as well as scoring around 20 goals. The most goals he scored in a season was 35 in the 2013-14 campaign.
Kunitz’s last few years have seen him take more of a reduced role, especially last year in Tampa Bay and two years ago in Pittsburgh. Even though he played in all 82 games last year, he averaged under 12 minutes of ice time, over five minutes less than his career average.
The Blackhawks signed the 38-year old Kunitz to a one year/ $1 million contract, very similar to Patrick Sharp’s final contract in his return to Chicago. Knowing how Quenneville tends to prefer veterans over rookies/younger guys, Kunitz will probably play on the fourth line, at least to start the season.
Chris Kunitz is only 34 games short of playing 1000 for his NHL career. In his 966 games played, he scored 263 goals, 346 assists, and 609 points. He has also been physical, especially over the last few years, with 1890 career hits and four 200+ hit seasons. He has proven a positive force on the ice overall, owning a career plus/minus ratio of +191.
Chris Kunitz has won four Stanley Cups in his career. Not bad for someone who went undrafted.