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Roberto Luongo calls it quits after 19 NHL seasons

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One of the best goaltenders in NHL history has decided to retire.

Veteran netminder Roberto Luongo announced Wednesday that he is riding off into the sunset and calling it quits after 19 seasons in the NHL.

“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 in an announcement via Twitter.

“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. I love the game so much, but the commitment I required to prepare, to keep my body ready, has become overwhelming.”

The 40-year old, who was selected 4th overall in the 1997 NHL Draft, compiled a 489-392-24 record, 2.52 goals against average and a .919 save percentage over a span of 1,044 regular season games and 70 playoff games split between the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks.

The six-timeAll-Star and recipient of the 2011 William M. Jennings Trophy holds plenty of Panthers and Canucks franchise records, and holds NHL records for most saves in a single season (2303 in 2003/04), most shots faced in a single season (2488 in 2005/06), most home games played in a single season (41 in 2006/07) and most regular season overtime wins, all-time with 49.

He ranks fourth all-time among goalies in wins, and third in games played.

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Ovechkin will serve as NHL Ambassador in China next month

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A big name NHL star is going to be the face of hockey in China.

The league announced Thursday that Washington Capitals great Alex Ovechkin will serve as an international ambassador for the NHL when he visits Beijing, China during the week of August 4 next month

“It is a huge honour for me to be an ambassador for the entire Washington Capitals organization and the National Hockey League for this special trip to China,” said Ovechkin.

“I think it is very important to spend time to help make people all over the world see how great a game hockey is. I can’t wait to spend time with all the hockey fans there and I hope to meet young kids who will be future NHL players. I can’t wait for this trip!”

Among the things Ovechkin will do when in the country is do a full on media tour, attend business meetings, and participate in various youth hockey clinics.

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Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson’s death most likely a suicide

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Some more sobering information has been revealed about the tragic death of former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson.

According to the Detroit News, Rochester police documents confirm that his death was more likely than not a suicide after a gun and a single bullet were near his body when he was discovered by his wife in the morning on July 7.

No further details of the autopsy have been made public.

Johnson, who was 48 at the time of his passing, spent 12 seasons in the NHL from 1993-2006.

The second round pick in the 1989 NHL Draft amassed 145 goals, 224 assists and 345 penalty minutes over a span of 785 games split between the Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.

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Capitals ink Jakub Vrana to two-year extension

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Another restricted free agent is off the market.

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday that they have signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7 million contract extension.

“Jakub is a highly skilled player with a tremendous upside and is a big part of our future” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan.

“We are pleased with his development the past two seasons and are looking forward for him to continue to develop and reach his full potential with our organization.”

The 23-year old, who was selected 13th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, posted a career-best 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) and a plus-20 rating in 82 games last season.

He will be entering his fourth NHL season in 2019/2020.

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