Luongo getting Ring of Honour instead of jersey retirement from Canucks

Dec 1 2022, 12:21 am

Roberto Luongo is headed for the Ring of Honour, the Vancouver Canucks have announced.

Luongo, along with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, will be celebrated at Thursday’s game at Rogers Arena against the Florida Panthers after the trio of Canucks legends were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Next season, at a date yet to be determined, Luongo will become the eighth player inducted into the Ring of Honour. Luongo was voted in by a “distinguished group of ex-players, broadcasters, and other members of the hockey club,” the Canucks said in a media release.

“We are proud to welcome Roberto to the prestigious list of Canucks Ring of Honour inductees,” said Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford. “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.”

“Roberto is one of the greatest Canucks of all time and we are thrilled to be able to officially congratulate him and celebrate all his accomplishments with this franchise,” said Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini. “For eight years, he amazed and entertained us, brought us to our feet, and made us believe. He was a true professional who led by example, both on and off the ice, and we look forward to permanently recognizing him in the Ring of Honour alongside other Vancouver Canucks legends.”

This has sparked a debate among Canucks fans, as many of them believe Luongo should have his jersey retired. Luongo is one of four players ever to build a Hall of Fame resume, primarily with the Canucks, and the other three have had their jerseys retired by the franchise.

Six players have had their jerseys retired by the Canucks: Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure, Markus Naslund, and the Sedins. Luongo had his jersey retired by the Florida Panthers in 2020.

Luongo is unquestionably the best goaltender in franchise history, as the all-time leader in wins (252), as well as save percentage (.919) and goals-against average (2.36) among goalies with at least 100 games played for the Canucks. The Montreal native appeared in 448 games, which is second only to Kirk McLean, who played 516 games with the Canucks. Like McLean, Luongo backstopped Vancouver to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Luongo will join McLean in the Ring of Honour, as well as Orland Kurtenbach, Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepsts, Pat Quinn, Mattias Ohlund, and Alex Burrows. No player in Canucks history has had their jersey retired after being inducted into the Ring of Honour, although there is not a formal rule against it.

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