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Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo announces retirement

Longtime NHL goalie pens letter to fans

(Rob Carr / Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo has announced his retirement.

Luongo, 40, penned an open letter to fans.

"This is one of the toughest decisions I've faced in my life and it took me a long time to make it," Luongo wrote.

Luongo said he still loves the game, but the committement required to keep playing is overwhelming.

"On behalf of the entire Florida Panthers organization, I want to thank Roberto for his unmatched level of committment to our franchise and our community," Panthers owner Vincent Viola said.

Luongo ends his career ranking second in NHL history in games played by a goaltender (1,044), third in wins (489) and ninth in shutouts (77).

He was a five-time All-Star.

The Panthers acquired Luongo in 2000.  

He played five seasons for the Panthers before being traded to Vancouver.

Luongo returned in 2014.