Former Vancouver Canucks All-Star netminder Roberto Luongo will be inducted into the team’s Ring Of Honour next season at an undetermined home game, as announced by the team Wednesday night.
Luongo, 43, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame just a few weeks ago alongside a pair of Canucks legends, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. The team’s all-time leader in wins (252), Luongo backstopped the Canucks to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, was twice a Vezina Trophy finalist, and won the 2011 Jennings Trophy alongside backup Cory Schneider.
While he was drafted by the New York Islanders and played more games for the Florida Panthers, he reached his greatest team success in Vancouver. Luongo never won a Vezina Trophy, but he was universally recognized as a top-five goalie in the league for most of his 1,044-game career. His .919 career save percentage is tied for eighth among goalies with at least 250 NHL games, and his 489 career wins are fourth all-time.
Luongo was so revered in the Canucks organization that the team even attempted to name him captain. Although he couldn’t wear the “C” on his jersey during games as a goaltender, he was technically the twelfth captain in franchise history from 2008 to 2010 before conceding the role to Henrik Sedin.
Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford gave a statement on the news:
We are proud to welcome Roberto to the prestigious list of Canucks Ring of Honour inductees. Roberto experienced many of his career highlights as a Vancouver Canuck and is deservingly viewed as one of the best goaltenders our game has ever seen thanks to those moments. He was a fierce competitor and a tremendous leader for this team, and we are honoured to be able to acknowledge his contributions to this organization and city.
Given the level of play Luongo delivered in Vancouver, and his legendary status in NHL history, having his name in the team Ring of Honour is full and well deserved. It’s a bit surprising to see the organization opt not to retire Luongo’s #1 completely, but it’s still an option should the team reconsider in the future.