Hockey Hall of Fame: Roberto Luongo

We’re taking a look at NHL Ice Hockey players that have made a huge impact on the game in Canadian clubs. We turn to Roberto Luongo.

With a record-breaking career with both the Carolina Panthers and Vancouver Canucks and NHL rule-breaker, goaltender Roberto Luongo, will be inducted on Monday in the Player Category.

He’ll also be joining fellow Canucks veterans, the Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin at the Hockey Hall of Fame event on Monday.

Who is Roberto?

Roberto was born in April 1979 in Montreal Canada and was playing hockey as a forward until the age of 11 when he decided to move back to the goals as a goaltender.

As a junior, he played with the Val D’Or Foreurs team in the Quebec Major Hockey League where he won the Mike Bossy Trophy in 1997, being recognised as an important prospect to go on to amazing things.

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo (1) looks up ice during a break in action in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 23, 2019, in Sunrise, Fla. Luongo’s No. 1 jersey will be retired by the Florida Panthers on March 7. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Joel Auerbach

Florida Panthers

Just before the turn of the millennium, Luongo turned professional with the American Hockey League team ‘Lowell Lock Monsters’, affiliated with the New York Islanders. So prolific were his abilities that in November 1999, he earned his start as goaltender for the Florida Panthers in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

This is when the great things started to really happen. His first record was set in the 2000/01 season when he recorded 5 shutouts (He broke the record again to 9). Then his next came in 2003/04, recording the most saves and facing the most shots in a single season. He was managing a whopping .931 save percentage with 50 starts.

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (1) acknowledges the crowd following a tribute to the former Canucks during first period NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver Canucks

Luongo was traded to the Canucks shortly before the 2006/07 season. He’d played 47 games with an impressive save percentage of .921 and a goals against average of 2.29 in the first season alone. His efforts helped the team finish first in the Northwest Division on 105 points, a franchise record of its own.

His notoriety continued when he was named Canucks’ 12th team captain in 2008/09, something that hadn’t happened in the NHL since 1947/48.

Luongo resigned as captain just before the 2010/11 season where he’d amassed some impressive franchise records for a goaltender; 38 wins, 2.11 goals against, .928 saves percentage.

During his Canucks tenure he was recognised as the franchise’s all-time lead goaltender in wins and shutouts.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo makes a save during the first period of NHL action against the Chicago Blackhawks in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The Canucks have traded Luongo to the Florida Panthers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Back to the Panthers

After 7 years with the Canucks, Luongo was traded back to the Panthers. His records continued to break, becoming the NHL’s all-time franchise leader for the number of games played, wins achieved and shutouts.

He became the second most played NHL goalie in the franchise, playing his 1030th career game.

Ottawa Senators centre Colin White fires the puck wide of the net past Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo during second period NHL action Thursday March 28, 2019 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Representing Canada

Luongo competed in a number of international Ice Hockey tournaments, representing Canada. As a youngster, he competed in the 1998 and 1999 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championships. He won Silver and was recognised as the Best Goaltender.

Fast forward and he’s representing Canada 4 times at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships (2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005). He helped the team win gold in 2003 and 2004 and then Silver in 2005.

Oh and his saving skills helped team Canada to win the Ice Hockey World Cup in 2004.

He’s also been part of the Olympic team in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympics, winning gold in the latter two years.

Canada goaltender Roberto Luongo makes a save on a shot by Austria during first period round robin men’s hockey action at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette


In the Summer of 2014, Luongo announced his retirement and out of respect, Panthers also went on to retire his number.

By the time of his announcement to Hockey Hall of Fame this year, he had amassed 489 wins, the 9th all-time for NHL shutouts (77).

What’s he doing now?

Since February 2021, he was appointed as a Assistant General Manager for Hockey Canada and the team creation for the 2022 Winter Olympics which happened earlier this year.  

Did you enjoy this blog?

Why not check out the other stories we’ve got on the William Hill Free Blog.

Posted on: 11 Nov 2022