Vancouver Canucks face penalty in wake of Roberto Luongo’s retirement

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 13: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers looks on from his crease during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena January 13, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 13: Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers looks on from his crease during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena January 13, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /
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Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has decided to call it a career, but the Canucks are now facing a cap recapture penalty for the massive contract they signed him to almost ten years ago.

First of all, congratulations on an amazing career Lu, you will always be a Vancouver Canucks legend. Thanks for everything you gave to this organization, and to this city.

Roberto Luongo announced his retirement in an open letter addressed to Florida Panthers fans, in which he touched on the physical and mental toll playing hockey at his age has taken on him. Luongo called it “one of the toughest decisions he’s faced in his life, that took him a long time to make.”

"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… After this season ended and I had an opportunity to step away, I started thinking about things. Looking back at last season, I just wasn’t happy with my performance. I played better in the second half, but it wasn’t up to the standards I expect of myself on a nightly basis. I wanted to be the backstop, to give my team a chance to win every night. I wanted to be on top of my game, stealing wins. It just wasn’t there, at least not as much as I wanted it to be."

Now what does this retirement mean for the Canucks? The CapFriendly Twitter account broke down how the cap recapture penalty impacts the Canucks for the next three years:

If you’re reading that correctly, you’ll see that the Canucks now owe Luongo just north of $3 million over the next three seasons. That will come directly off the Canucks’ cap space. The bright side is the $800,000 the Canucks were still paying Luongo officially comes off the books, meaning the actual cap impact is around $2.2 million. Yay?

Next. Games to look forward to in 2019-20. dark

While this is tough news for the Canucks, it’s a better scenario than if Luongo chose to retire a year before his contract expired, which would have seen the Canucks lose over $8 million on their cap space all in one year, the same year that Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes’ entry-level contracts expire. Congrats on an amazing career, Lu!