Why Luongo Should Get into the Hockey Hall Of Fame
By Patrick Hoffman
Time and time again in this space, I have explained why when it comes to goaltenders and the Hockey Hall of Fame, the selection process is always tough to figure out and one that is infuriating.
One masked man who I think deserves to get into the HHOF is Roberto Luongo. Luongo, who retired on June 26, had a splendid NHL career and put up big numbers that should give him a good chance to be honored by the HHOF, despite the fact that he never won a Stanley Cup.
For starters, Luongo, 40, finished his career with 489 wins. That puts him third all-time behind two Hall of Famers in Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. Roberto is also second in league history with 1,044 games played and ninth all-time with 77 shutouts.
Luongo was a six-time NHL All-Star (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2015, and 2016), a two time member of NHL Second All-Star team (2004 and 2007), a Mark Messier Leadership Award winner (March 2007), and a William M. Jennings Trophy winner (2011). That is certainly a lot of hardware, eh?
He also holds a lot of team records with the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks. He had a lot of success with both franchises and despite some suspect defensive play, he always seemed to come up with the big save when his team needed the one the most.
Speaking of the Panthers, the franchise announced on Monday, August 12, that he would be the first Panther to have his number retired, which will be happening on March 7, 2020, in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Here is what Panthers' General Manager and President of Hockey Operations had to say about Luongo during the team's special announcement:
"A true professional, competitor and gentleman, Roberto set the standard for players in this organization," said Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon. "There was never a question in any of our minds that Roberto would be the first Panthers player to have his number retired by the franchise. One of the game's most iconic goaltenders, he gave his heart and soul to the Panthers and the South Florida community and carried himself with dignity, modesty and humor. Roberto is most deserving of this honor and we are thrilled for him, and his family."
A lot of naysayers will point out the fact that he never won a Cup. These will be the same folks that have kept another great goaltender without a Cup, Curtis Joseph, out of the HHOF.
While that is a good point, there should be no doubting that he was one of the greatest goaltenders to play the game. For me at least, everything that was mentioned above should help get him into the HHOf some day.
Patrick covers the NHL for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave.
He has previously covered the league for WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.