By Cara Bahniuk
A day after both Brooks Orpik and Matt Hendricks retired from the NHL, Roberto Luongo followed suit. Luongo announced his retirement after 19 seasons in the NHL, splitting his time between the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, and New York Islanders.
The 40-year-old ends his NHL tenure with 489 career wins, third of all time behind Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.
Luongo announced his retirement on Twitter with a joke about Florida retirement homes. His tweet was accompanied by a photo of a pair of goalie pads stung over an electrical wire next to a pair of sneakers.
I’ve decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/BTuZIo8XT8
— Strombone (@strombone1) June 26, 2019
“I’ve decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home ✌🏼,” Luongo tweeted.
The Florida Panthers posted a video full of Luongo highlights on Twitter.
The legend hangs up his pads.
Thank you for everything, Lu. pic.twitter.com/eOUjanrJGU
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) June 26, 2019
Luongo also posted an open letter to fans on the Panthers website, sharing that it was a tough decision but it felt like the right time.
“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 wrote.
He shared that the hardest part of retiring was telling his two children.
“So I’ve decided to retire, and it’s been really tough. One of the hardest things I’ve gone through in making this decision was when I told Gianni and Gabriella, my kids,” Luongo wrote. “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 was a six-time All Star and won gold in the Olympics twice, in 2010 and 2014. He still had three years left on his 12-year, $64 million deal that he signed while playing with the Canucks. Both the Panthers and the Canucks will have a salary cap penalty for the next three seasons due to the retirement.
1,044 NHL GP (second-most by a goaltender)
489 NHL W (third-most wins)
2x Olympic gold medalist
Congratulations to @strombone1 on an amazing NHL career that spanned 19 seasons! https://t.co/2nphRZNOa7 pic.twitter.com/ypSOtJD2Ff
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) June 26, 2019
Headline photo: @strombone1
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