It was a sad week in the world of hockey as one of the sport’s finest announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Roberto Luongo, who finishes his career with the third-most regular season victories in NHL history, officially called it a career on his infamous, unofficial Twitter account Wednesday.
I’ve decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/BTuZIo8XT8
— Strombone (@strombone1) June 26, 2019
He played for the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers during his 19-year career; however, it was his time with the Vancouver Canucks that proved to be his most successful.
It was during his seven-and-a-half seasons in Vancity that he won the first of his two Olympic gold medals — one as the team’s starter — and led the Canucks to within a game of the Stanley Cup in 2011.
For all that the city did for him, the 40-year-old showed his appreciation by taking out a full-page ad in The Province to thank the team and its supporters.
ICYMI: @strombone1 bought this ad in today's @theprovince, page 72, to thank #Vancouver fans. @risingaction was told the retiring goalie bought it with his own money. #hockey pic.twitter.com/zEFtE7hnMo
— Stephanie Ip (@stephanie_ip) June 27, 2019
Luongo collected 252 of his 489 regular season victories — as well as 32 of his 34 career playoff wins — while with the Canucks, posting a mind-boggling 2.36 regular season GAA with the team. He and Cory Schneider combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy for their impressive work during the 2010-11 campaign.
Sadly, though, hip problems are the reason he’s hanging up the pads.
“I love the game so much, but the commitment I required to prepare, to keep my body ready, has become overwhelming,” he wrote in an open letter published to NHL.com on Wednesday.
While hockey will not be the same going forward without Luongo, fans will still have his hilarious, sporadic tweets to look forward to.
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