Brunette retires, joins Wild’s hockey ops

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Andrew Brunette helped the Minnesota Wild for six seasons as a gritty forward willing to do the dirty work down low and along the boards. Now, he will try to help the team by finding players who compete the same way.

Brunette, 39, announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the NHL and Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher said he will join the organization as an advisor for the hockey operations department and assist in scouting, free-agent signings and helping with the evaluation and development of the team’s prospects.

Brunette, a former seventh-round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in the 1993 NHL draft, scored 268 goals and passed out 465 assists in his career, including 119 goals and 202 assists as a member of the Wild. He ranks second in goals and power-play goals (55), fourth in points (321), assists and game-winning goals (16), and fifth in games played (489) in team history.

His most famous goal came in the 2003 Western Conference quarterfinals when he scored in overtime of Game 7 to beat the Colorado Avalanche and clinch Minnesota’s first playoff series win.

From 1998-99 through 2011-12, Brunette played in 1,048 regular season games, the most of any NHL player during that time. He played his 1,000th career games as a member of the Wild on Feb. 1, 2011 in his second three-year stint with the club.

Brunette also played for Washington, the Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Colorado and the Chicago Blackhawks during his career. 

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