Former Vancouver Canuck Roberto Luongo announces retirement

Vancouver’s winningest NHL goaltender announced his retirement Wednesday morning

The winningest goaltender and greatest Twitter account in Vancouver history has called it a day.

Roberto Luongo announced his retirement from the NHL Wednesday morning and penned a letter to fans on NHL.com.

Before doing so, he posted a photo on his wildly popular Twitter account of his goalie pads dangling from a clothesline alongside the caption, “I’ve decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home."

Luongo’s open letter on NHL.com speaks to the emotions he’s been reconciling this morning.

“So I've decided to retire, and it's been really tough,” Luongo said. “One of the hardest things I've gone through in making this decision was when I told Gianni and Gabriella, my kids. Seeing them cry when I told them about it because they loved coming to the games and watching me play so much, it really broke my heart. We cried together. It was hard, it was really sad.”

Luongo, 40, cited his hip surgery in 2016 as being the catalyst behind the decision. Luongo said his desire to train was waning as recently as last month, and he felt as though his game had plateaued at best, and began to decline, at worst over the course of the last season.

The Montreal native leaves the game as an automatic Hall of Famer, despite having never won a Stanley Cup. He helped backstop the Canadian Olympic team to gold in 2010 on home ice after Sidney Crosby scored the once-in-a-generation Golden Goal. He also won gold in 2014 in a backup role to Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price. And of course, he led the Canucks within one game of a Stanly Cup victory in 2011.

His numbers speak for themselves:

  • second in NHL history in games played by a goaltender (1,044)
  • five time all star
  • two-time Olympic gold medallist
  • World Cup of Hockey gold medallist
  • two-time IIHF World Championship gold medallist
  • One of only two goaltenders in NHL history to have won 200 games with two different franchises
  • winningest goalie in Canucks history (252) and Panthers history (230)
  • third in wins (489)
  • ninth in shutouts (77)
  • one of only three goaltenders in NHL history to have played 1,000 NHL games.
  • of the seven goaltenders to play in 900 career games, Luongo's career .919 save percentage ranks first.
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Autograph seekers Ray Jones(16) and his sister Naomi Jones(20) get autographs from Roberto Luongo and Christian Erhoff in May 2011. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Luongo’s tenure with the Canucks lasted from the 2006/07 season until 2013/2014. He sits second all-time in franchise history in both goals against average and save percentage behind Cory Schneider, whose body of work in Vancouver (98 games) pales in comparison to Luongo’s 448 games.

The goaltending record book in Florida has Luongo’s name next to every category.

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