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Luongo becomes first to make Hockey Hall of Fame after playing most of career for Panthers

David Wilson, Miami Herald on

Published in Hockey

A few years ago, Roberto Luongo became the first player to have his jersey number retired by the Florida Panthers.

Now, the six-time All-Star is the first player to spend the majority of his career with the Panthers to make the Hockey Hall of Fame, getting in on the first ballot.

Luongo is one of four former NHL players heading to the Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2022, the Hall announced Monday. The former goaltender played 19 seasons in the NHL, including two stints in Florida from 2000-2006 and again from 2014 until he retired in 2019.

Along the way, Luongo set franchise records for games played in goal, wins and shutouts, and has the second best save percentage in team history. He also owns the two best single-season save percentages in club history.

He now works for the Panthers as a special advisor to the general manager and has held the role since 2019.

Florida retired his No. 1 in 2020. He also played for the New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks, helping them reach the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, and has the fourth most wins in league history. He picked up 230 of his 489 wins with the Panthers. In the 2005-06 NHL season, Luongo faced more shots than anyone ever in a single season.

Luongo, 43, also has played the second most games among goalies in NHL history, recorded the second most saves, faced the second most shots and posted the ninth best save percentage. His 270 goals saved above average are the seventh most in NHL history and his 217.8 point shares are the most ever by a goaltender.

 

Luongo was originally the No. 4 overall pick by the Islanders in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, but New York took another goalie with the No. 1 pick of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and traded him to Florida — along with future All-Star center Olli Jokinen, who also still ranks among the Panthers’ all-time leaders in several categories — after he played just 24 games on Long Island.

He made his first NHL All-Star team in 2004 and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, and then Florida traded him to the Canucks in 2006. In more than seven years in Vancouver, Luongo blossomed into a true star — thrice playing in the NHL All-Star Game and finishing as runner-up for the Vezina and Hart Memorial Trophy in 2007 — before the Canucks traded him back to Florida ahead of the trade deadline in 2014. Luongo has been with the organization basically ever since, joining the front office less than five months after he retired.

He also won two gold medals with Canada in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, and was Canada’s assistant GM for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

He will officially go into the Hall of Fame in November, and will enter alongside three-time All-Star forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin, two of his Vancouver teammates from its run to the Stanley Cup Finals, plus six-time All-Star right wing Daniel Alfredsson.

Riikka Sallinen and Herb Carnegie will round out the 2022 class, as a women’s representative and builder, respectively. Sallinen won two bronze medals at the Winter Olympics and is one of the greatest Finnish players ever, and Carnegie is widely considered to be the best Black player to never play in the NHL.

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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