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Roberto Luongo Announces Retirement

Alex Donno
June 26, 2019 - 3:00 pm
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After 19 years in the NHL, Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo announced his retirement. 

Luongo is a slam dunk for the hall of fame. He's second all time in games played, third in league history in wins with 489, and ninth in shutouts at 77. 

The 5-time all star announced his decision on his Twitter account:

Luongo also penned a passionate open letter to his fans, citing his reasons for stepping away at age 40. 

"I love the game so much, but the commitment I required to prepare, to keep my body ready, has become overwhelming. Since I had my hip surgery a couple of years ago, I've been showing up two hours before every practice and three hours before every game to work out my hip. Even at night, whether it was the night before a game or even a night off, there I was rolling out, doing strengthening exercises. My entire life revolved around recovery, strengthening and making sure I was ready to go the next day.

I was willing to make that sacrifice because I love the game, I love being part of it, being in the action and competing with my teammates. I was willing to go through it all for my love of hockey.

After this season ended and I had an opportunity to step away, I started thinking about things. Looking back at last season, I just wasn't happy with my performance. I played better in the second half, but it wasn't up to the standards I expect of myself on a nightly basis. I wanted to be the backstop, to give my team a chance to win every night. I wanted to be on top of my game, stealing wins. It just wasn't there, at least not as much as I wanted it to be."

Luongo went on to thank family, friends, fans, and the teams and cities he's called home during his career. 

"The list of great players I was lucky to share the ice with and great guys I was lucky to spend time in the locker room with goes on and on, whether it was in Florida, Vancouver or with Team Canada. In Vancouver, I played with the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows, who became one of my best friends. In Florida - it makes me feel old to say it - but I played with Pavel Bure in my first stint, and my second time around I got to play with one of the best players in the league in Sasha Barkov.

The Panthers teams I've spent the past few years with, there's so many great guys in the room - I don't want to name anybody, because I don't want to forget anybody - but there's so many great people on this team. And that's hard too, because I'm going to miss being around my teammates and going to battle with them every night.

And obviously there's the fans, everybody who has supported me over the years. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. My life in this sport has been a great experience, and I'm glad I got to share some of my best hockey memories - from the Stanley Cup Final run, to the Olympic gold medal - with the fans in Vancouver."

Luongo holds Panthers franchise records in most games played by a goaltender (572), wins (230), shutouts (38), and saves (16,068).