A major retirement has just taken place in the world of hockey as Florida Panthers’ Roberto Luongo has announced that he is hanging up the goalie equipment.
Luongo was the 4thoverall pick in 1997 by the New York Islanders but his stay in New York would be a short one. He had a mediocre rookie season (1999-2000) and after the Isles selected fellow goalie, Rick DiPietro 1stoverall in 2000 and along with Olli Jokinen he was dispatched to the Florida Panthers in what is now considered a lopsided trade.
The native of Quebec would show steady improvement and in 2002/03 he would lead the NHL in Goalie Point Shares. The next season would be his true breakout year as he would finish first in Saves and Goalie Point Shares with a 2.43 Goals Against Average. He would be named to his first All-Star Game, finished third in Vezina Trophy voting and would also be chosen to be a Second Team All-Star. 2004 would be a great year for Luongo as he would backstop Canada to a win at the World Cup of Hockey. This was after he would win the World Hockey Championship, his second straight. The NHL was locked out in 2004/05 but he remained an elite Goalie when play resumed in 2005/06 and was again the leader in Saves.
Luongo was surprisingly traded to the Vancouver Canucks for the 2006/07 season and in the next five years he would finish in the top ten in Vezina Trophy voting with a second place and third place finish in 2006/07 and 2010/11 season respectively. In the former year, he was again a Second Team All-Star, the latter he was the William M. Jennings Trophy winner and would take the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. He would notably be the starting Goalie for Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Gold Medal win.
The butterfly style goalie would be traded back to the Florida Panthers in 2014 where he would finish his career and go to his fourth and fifth All-Star Game. He retires with 489 Wins (3rdOverall), 28,409 Saves (2ndOverall) and a 2.52 GAA.
Luongo is eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2022 and we will be adding his name to our hockey futures section soon. He has a first ballot Hall of Fame resume and he will be ranked very high on our list once eligible.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to wish Roberto Luongo the best in his post-playing career.
Regular visitors of Notinhalloffame.com know that we are slowly working on the top 50 of every major team in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB. Once that is done, we intend to look at how each team honor their past players and executive. As such it is news to us that the Florida Panthers have announced that next season, they will be retiring the number 1 of Roberto Luongo on their March 7 home game against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Goalie joined the Panthers after being traded from the New York Islanders where he only played 24 Games after being drafted fourth overall in 1997. Splitting netminding duty with Trevor Kidd for the 2000/01 Season, he would quickly become the team’s primary Goalie.
Florida would struggle to put together a competitive hockey team but it would become quickly clear that this was no fault of Luongo, who was the main reason why they were even in most games. In each season from 2002-03 to 2005-06 (2004-05 never occurred due to the lockout) Luong would finish first in Goalie Point Shares and he was named a Second Team All-Star in 2003-04.
Luongo would be traded to the Vancouver Canucks before the 2006/07 season as he was set to become a free agent the year after and negotiations were not going well. With the Canucks, he would take them to the Stanley Cup Finals and after seven and a half years in Vancouver, he was traded back to the Panthers during the 2014/14 campaign where he would still thrive and have two top ten Vezina voting finishes before retiring at the end of last season.
Luongo would record 230 of his 469 Wins with the Panthers while posting a 2.61 Goals Against Average.
This marks the first time in franchise history that a jersey is being retired.
Luongo is eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2022.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Roberto Luongo for earning this impending honor.