Roberto Luongo might have retired in 2019, but the 44-year-old doesn’t look like he has lost a step between the pipes.
The man they call “Luuuuu” was back on the ice with the Florida Panthers on Friday as he helped the team out in practice. The NHL’s fourth-winningest goaltender was clad in his old Panther’s mask and gear for the rare on-ice session and looked as spry as ever.
The Hockey News’ David Dwork was able to share a video of the legendary netminder back at work.
— David Dwork (@DavidDwork) February 9, 2024
Luongo called it a career following the 2018-19 season with the Panthers. In that final season, he put up an 18-16-5 record and a .899 save percentage. Considering his age and the fact that the Panthers are getting some pretty good goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky and Anthony Stolarz, an NHL comeback is not likely.
Though the Hall of Famer spent most of his NHL career playing in Florida (11 seasons), he is more remembered for the eight that he played with the Vancouver Canucks during his prime between 2006 and 2014. On the West Coast, he captured 367 wins in 448 games and helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup Finals berth in 2011 before eventually being traded to the Panthers after a lengthy and dramatic process.
Despite being among the best goaltenders to ever play in the NHL, Luongo never won the Vezina Trophy. The closest he got to the honour was in 2007 when he finished second in both Vezina and Hart Trophy voting.
Though he could not secure the Vezina and the ever-elusive Stanley Cup, Luongo remains one of the more popular goaltenders to play, with a brand of sharp wit and self-deprecating humour that has yet to be replicated since his retirement.
The Panthers have retired Luongo’s #1 jersey, while the Canucks honoured their franchise leader in wins by adding him to their Ring of Honour earlier this season.