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J.S. Giguere announces his retirement from the NHL

We knew it was coming, but it's still bittersweet.

The NHL and Avalanche reported today that Jean-Sebastien Giguere has officially announced his retirement. A more detailed look into his career (and why he's always been a special player to me) will be coming soon. In the meantime, let's give him a hearty congrats and we'll miss ya.

The Avs' website has a fantastic, in depth article about him. Definitely go check it out. Here are some highlights:

After 16 NHL seasons, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup championship, former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is calling it a career.

Giguere announced Thursday he is retiring from the NHL, ending a career that saw him win 262 games in 597 regular-season contests. He made the announcement in Quebec with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada hockey team, where he is a part owner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise.

It was a healthy competition in net between Giguere and Varlamov, with each goalie pushing the other to be better while also forming a friendship. The goalie tandem excelled together at the start of last season and shared the NHL's Second Star of the week honors for the week ending Oct. 13.

With Giguere continuing to share his previous experiences with Varlamov, the team added additional support last summer in hall-of-fame goalie Patrick Roy as head coach and Francois Allaire as the team's goaltending coach. The trio helped Varlamov breakout in 2013-14 as the Russian goalie won 41 games and was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy.

Allaire was Giguere's former goalie coach in Anaheim, and the veteran netminder was able to help ease Varlamov into and learn Allaire's system. The trio even worked out a bit together last summer in Montreal.

"When Francois came here, I told Varly it would be very good for him," Giguere told during the season. "It would be something that would bring him to the next level as long as he was willing to work. I told him, 'You're going to get better with him coaching you.'"

In that final game against his former club, Giguere was honored with a tribute on the center-ice video scoreboard and was pulled into taking a final lap around the ice with former teammate Teemu Selanne, who was also playing in his final regular-season contest.

“When I saw him, I said, ‘Well this is the time,’” Selanne said about seeing his longtime friend in the postgame handshake line. “Obviously, we have had a great journey together, and we’re good friends. It was an honor to share this night for him, too.”