Panthers legend Roberto Luongo to be inducted to Hockey Hall of Fame

Luongo named as part of HHOF Class of 2022

Goaltender Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers has a drink during a break in action against the Boston Bruins at the BB&T Center on April 5, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Bruins 3-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roberto Luongo (Joel Auerbach, 2018 Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Roberto Luongo is no longer considered a future Hall of Famer.

One of the most significant players to put on a Florida Panthers sweater and an all-time talent among NHL goaltenders has been recognized as such by the sport’s biggest shrine.

The Pro Hockey Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2022 on Monday and Luongo’s name was on the list.

It was the first time Luongo was eligible for induction into the HHOF.

He was the highest goalie to be selected in an NHL Draft when the New York Islanders took him fourth overall in 1997, a record that the Islanders broke three years later when they took Rick DiPietro with the No. 1 pick.

That was fortunate for the Panthers as it allowed them to acquire Luongo and Olli Jokinen from the Isles the same day, a substantial move that brought two franchise players to Sunrise.

Luongo would end up spending 11 of his 19 NHL seasons with Florida.

He is the winningest goaltender in franchise history and the only player to have his Panthers jersey retired and hanging in the FLA Live Arena rafters.

Perhaps as importantly, Luongo also endeared himself to the South Florida community and helped grow the game at a time the franchise desperately needed a superstar as its face. It’s where he met his wife and started his family. It’s home.

Quite appropriately, the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2022 also features two of Luongo’s close friends and teammates from their days in Vancouver, Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

During his eight seasons in Vancouver, Luongo led the Canucks to a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 in 2010-11 and won a Gold Medal for Team Canada in 2010, a game that was played in front of his home fans in British Colombia. He also was part of Team Canada’s 2014 squad that won Gold in Sochi.

Since retiring in 2019, Luongo has been a part of the Panthers front office and currently works closely with GM Bill Zito as a special advisor while overseeing Florida’s goaltending excellence department.

He also was the general manager for Team Canada’s men’s team at the 2021 world hockey championships, which won Gold in Riga, Latvia last June.

Along with Luongo and the Sedin twins, the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2022 features Daniel Alfredsson, Riikka Sallinen and Herb Carnegie.

The Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will take place Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13 with the Induction Ceremony happening Monday, Nov. 14.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.