Former Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo officially became the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. For as long as the Panthers are around, no other player on that team will ever don the No. 1. Here is what that history-making moment looked like.
Roberto Luongo's No. 1 is now the first number retired in #FlaPanthers history. pic.twitter.com/rsuRWYW1dN— The Rat Trick (@FanSidedTheRat) March 7, 2020
Luongo spoke to reporters prior to the ceremony where he praised the local community as the home he's embraced and talked about just how special this evening was going to be.
“I’m lucky to be recognized by the Panthers, this is my home. I’m here everyday and feel like I’m part of this team still. One chapter closed and another has been opened for me.” — Roberto Luongo pic.twitter.com/KNIENgoh5w— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 7, 2020
“This is my home. I think it’s going to be an extra special night for me.” -Roberto Luongo on the @FlaPanthers retiring his No. 1 jersey. 🏡 #thankyoulu #FlaPanthers #oneterritory #nhl pic.twitter.com/UxQ2z8CzWC— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) March 7, 2020
Of course, his love for the area has been on display throughout his time in Florida -- particular his second stint with the team. Perhaps the most notable example of that happened in Feb. 2018 when he gave an emotional speech to honor the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting.
Luongo had two eras of playing for the Panthers. He was on the team from 2000 to 2006 before heading to the Vancouver Canucks for just over seven seasons and eventually getting traded back to Florida in 2014. His 489 career victories are third in NHL history behind only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy. Brodeur is the only goalie that has made more appearances or more saves in his career. Among all goalies who have played at least 900 games (that's seventh all-time) he has the best save percentage at .919.