SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Thunderbirds announced the retirement of defenseman and captain Tommy Cross.

Cross was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2007, joined the Providence Bruins in 2012, and became a Thunderbirds player in 2021. In total, Cross skated in 588 regular season AHL games, including 135 as a member of the Thunderbirds. During the 2022 Eastern Conference championship, Cross scored 11 points in 18 postseason games, including a personal five-game point streak to open the playoffs.

“I would like to take the chance to thank the fans for an incredible four seasons as part of the Springfield Thunderbirds. It was an honor to play hockey in Western Massachusetts in a city with such a proud tradition and rich hockey history. The enthusiasm and energy of the fans during the 2022 Calder Cup playoff run will be something that I will always remember. 

The entire Thunderbirds organization has been graciously kind and generous to my family, and for that, we are very thankful and appreciative. Thank you to the staff, coaches, front office, and all of my teammates for making Springfield such a special place to play.”

Tommy Cross, #4

“We are grateful for Tommy Cross’s unwavering dedication and immense impact on the Springfield Thunderbirds organization,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “Tommy has been a true inspiration both inside and outside of the rink, embodying the values of consistency and mentorship, which have made him an irreplaceable asset to our team. His exemplary conduct and genuine pride in wearing our city’s jersey have made him not just a valuable player, but a cherished champion for our community. Tommy’s crucial role in leading us to the 2022 Eastern Conference title will forever hold a special place in our hearts. We extend our heartfelt appreciation and wish him and his family the very best in the future.”

“In this business, we are always looking for mentors and leaders who are quality people on and off the ice, and Tommy Cross is all of those things,” said Thunderbirds General Manager Kevin Maxwell. “Tommy had such a positive and influential effect on our younger players, one that will be felt for years to come. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

“Tommy has been an integral part of the Blues affiliate transitioning to Springfield to start the 2021-22 season,” said Thunderbirds head coach Drew Bannister. “His leadership on and off the ice with his teammates, and his commitment to the fans and organization in Springfield will be missed. It has been a pleasure of mine and all our staff to have Tommy as our Captain and leader for the past two seasons. I want to personally thank Tommy and wish him and his family all the best in his retirement from the game of hockey.”

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