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Roberto Luongo Hangs the Goalie Pads; Retires After 19 Seasons

Roberto Luongo announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday. The 40-year-old goaltender retires after playing 19 seasons with the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders. He will go down as one of the top goaltenders in modern goaltending. He will retire with 489 wins, which is third all-time behind Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. Totaling 1,044 games, he finished with a 2.61 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. Internationally he was successful with Team Canada, winning two Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014. 

Luongo Statement

“There’s a lot I want to say. This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve faced in my life and it took me a long time to make it. After thinking about it a lot over the past two months and listening to my body, I made up my mind. It just feels like the right time for me to step away from the game.” Luongo said in an emotional statement.

Here’s his full statement from Luongo to the fans. 

The Post-Lungo Era in Florida

There were a lot of questions about the 40-year-old health. Last season he only played 43 games, finishing with an 18-16-5, 3.12 GAA and.899 save percentage. He still has three years ($5.33 AAV) left on his 12-year, $64 million deal he signed in the 2010-11 season. The Panthers will only be hit with a $1.09 million cap for the next three seasons. The Canucks, who signed the Luongo contract, would be charged $3.03 million cap hit for the next three years. 

The fans of Florida will miss but not forget Luongo. He will be remembered as one of the top goalies of the modern era. Florida fans can get excited for a new era with new head coach, Joel Quenneville. Florida will now find a replacement. They picked Spencer Knight in the first round (13th overall pick) to ensure their goalie of the future. There are also rumors of Florida in the mix for Sergei Bobrovsky’s signature. 

 

Photo Credit: Joel Auerbach/AP

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