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.