We all knew this day was coming sooner than later, but that doesn’t mean I was prepared for the official announcement from Roberto Luongo that he is officially retiring from the NHL.
And just as he always has, he gave us heart when he said good-bye to the game:
There are NO words that I can put together that will possibly ever come close to enough to express my thanks, but here we go:
What can I say that properly expresses the thanks that we owe to you in Vancouver. You gave your all to this city every single time you stepped onto the ice and between the pipes. During your tenure here, you ALWAYS gave the team a chance to win, every single time.
I’ll never forget the day the Canucks traded for you. You could feel a buzz among Canucks fans, igniting a hope for the future. You brought with you, a confidence and quiet determination and that was noticed by all your teammates. It was palpable. And with that first season in Vancouver, wow did you make the league take notice.
For me, the love of the game came on slowly and then suddenly all at once. That first year you were a Canuck, was the year there was NO looking back. In fact, when my parents realized how seriously I loved this game, they surprised me with YOUR jersey for my birthday. It’ll always be my favourite because it was the first jersey I ever owned and truly connected me to this game.
Over 8 seasons, it was truly something spectacular to see you in your groove. And to hear the “LUUUUUUs” every game at home, was sensational, and you made many a LU-mongous saves for us to cheer for over the years.
From setting personal bests, to winning OLYMPIC GOLD ON HOME ICE to that breath taking 2011 to becoming the WINNING-est goalie in Canucks history. No one can ever take that away from you.
I’m sorry for how it seemed at times that this city blamed you for the ending in 2011 and seemed to turn on you at times. It wasn’t always fair, and you deserved so much better before your time in Vancouver ended. Maybe it didn’t end the way you envisioned, but just know that you have left an indelible mark on Vancouver and the NHL.
I’m forever grateful that we had one last time to see you play in Vancouver this past season and one more time Rogers Arena filled with thunderous rounds of “LUUUUUUUUU”.
I hope that as you move forward with whatever comes next, that you know that you were appreciated and looked up to. I hope you realize how big an impact you had and will continue to have on the game of hockey.
Your career may have officially ended in Florida, but to THIS fan and many more in BC, you’ll forever be a Vancouver Canuck.
#ThanksLU for everything all the best in whatever comes next!