As soon as the 40-year-old goaltender announced his retirement this off-season, there were people wondering when the Vancouver Canucks would be dedicating some time to honour the former franchise player.
It took the Florida Panthers just a couple of months to let the public know their plans, becoming the first player in team history to have their number retired by the expansion club. Meanwhile, the Canucks, who Luongo appeared in a total of 448 games for, including the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals run, does not have any plans as of right now.
“Roberto had an outstanding NHL career and was part of some of the biggest moments in Canucks history,” a team spokesperson told Patrick Johnson of the Province. “We’re sure his name will be included in future discussions; however, we don’t have any current plans for the upcoming season.”
Luongo holds franchise records such as wins (252), shutouts (38), games started (367) and quality starts (220), but the team right now has not made any priority to hold a ceremony, or anything of the like. He also holds the
This could either be just putting it off until later, or taking their time to really make the presentation have an impact. Luongo has an established legacy in Vancouver and throughout the entire hockey world. Keeping records among active goaltenders last season and is known as one of the most down-to-earth players in the NHL.
He was traded to the Florida Panthers back in 2014, after a couple seasons of mismanagement. Since then, Luongo has battled with injuries for the past three seasons — topping out at 43 appearances last season.
With his retirement, the Canucks are going to be held accountable with a $3.03-million cap hit recapture penalty for the next three seasons because of his remaining contract.
There is still plenty of time for the story to unravel, whether that will result in a number retirement or a ceremony honouring the team legend, the Canucks should not be pressed to make any sort of quick decision on this matter.
The team was quick to retire both Henrik and Daniel Sedin’s numbers and currently have the numbers of Markus Naslund, Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, and Pavel Bure retired. Some of those decisions were easier than others, but Luongo has his place in Canucks and NHL history and will be remembered post-retirement.