Roberto Luongo is a legend of the game of hockey. He is one of the greatest goalies to ever play and is certainly the best player in the history of the Florida Panthers franchise. The Panthers have recognized that and will raise Luongoâ€™s No. 1 to the rafters on March 7 against his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens. Luongo, who retired this offseason at the age of 40 after a Hall of Fame worthy career that spanned 19 seasons with three teams (New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers).
a look at the accolades
-Luongo ranks first in Panthers history in wins (230), shutouts (38), saves (16,068), and games played by a goaltender (572).
-He ranks second in NHL history in wins (489) and third in games played for a goaltender (1,044). He also ranks ninth in NHL history in shutouts (77).
-He also retired with a William Jennings Trophy from his time in Vancouver and multiple All-Star game appearances from his stints in Vancouver and Florida.
-He has also won two Olympic gold medals as a member of Team Canada.
-He spent 11 seasons of his career here in Florida and will become the very first player to have his sweater lifted to the rafters of the BB&T Center. No other Panther has received this honor before him.
Honoring a legend
There is simply no one more deserving of this honor. Luongo has always been a class act and has given the Panthersâ€™ franchise more great memories than anyone can count. From his 20-round shootout victory over the Washington Capitals, to his other-worldly 2003-04 season, playoff run in 2015-16, and the countless “Lu” chants raining down from the stands, Panthers fans and hockey fans around the world can all agree this is well-deserved.
But we canâ€™t talk about Luongoâ€™s career in Florida without mentioning the moving speech he gave before a home game against the Capitals in February of 2018 following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Luongo then proceeded to backstop the Panthers to a 3-2 comeback win in the dying seconds in what was the most emotional and powerful night of hockey in franchise history. That speech and that win on that night cemented Luongoâ€™s legacy as a Panther and a member of the South Florida community. None of us will ever forget that.
Congratulations Bobby lu!
From all of us at Panther Parkway and Panthers fans everywhere, congratulations on the retirement of your No. 1 sweater. Next stop is the Hall of Fame.
We strongly encourage readers and Panthers fans to be in the building on March 7 for what promises to be a historic night for the franchise. Iâ€™m already looking forward to it.
What stands out as your favorite Roberto Luongo moment, save, game or memory? Let us know in the comments.