Florida Panthers Legend Roberto Luongo Finally Gets His Stanley Cup Championship

Roberto Luongo is the most beloved player in Florida Panthers history. After falling short with the Vancouver Canucks so many years ago, he finally gets his Stanley Cup championship as a member of Florida's front office.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven / Elsa/GettyImages

Back in 1995, the then-Hartford Whalers made Paul Maurice the youngest head coach in NHL history. Almost 30 years later he lifted the Stanley Cup for the first time as his Florida Panthers defeated the Edmonton Oilers in game seven to reach hockey immortality.

Maurice was tearfully presented with the Cup to lift in the middle of a televised interview and those decades of hard work reached a peak as hockey fans worldwide watched the long-tenured coach finally get his ring.

Another longtime hockey lifer will finally get his ring too. That’s former goaltender turned Panthers front office member Roberto Luongo.

Luongo might be the most beloved player in franchise history and is the only player who’s had his number retired by the team (former owner Wayne Huizenga and former team president Bill Torey also have retired banners).

Roberto Luongo is finally going to be able to celebrate with the Stanley Cup

Luongo opened up game seven by being the Panthers' honorary “drummer” before the opening face-off. The ever-hilarious Luongo joked it allowed him to let out his “pent-up emotion” from the past week.

Luongo was traded to the Panthers in 2000 after a short tenure with the New York Islanders. The Panthers would trade Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks in 2006 and he would play there before being traded back to Florida at the 2013-2014 trade deadline.

Luongo would retire with the franchise after the 2018-2019 season. His return to South Florida is seen as a turning point in the franchise that led to their current rise to contention with the likes of Alexander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, and former Panther Jonathan Huberdeau.

Luongo’s only trip to the Stanley Cup final came in 2011 when the Vancouver Canucks would lose to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

Throughout that final series, Luongo had a 0.891 save percentage and 3.41 goals against average, although he did have shutouts in games one and five, but was pulled in games four and six for Cory Schneider.

Luongo and Vancouver’s fan base would like to forget that he let in three goals on 20 shots in a 4-0 shutout loss in game seven.

Luongo has taken the loss with a sense of humor on his infamous Twitter account. The Stanley Cup’s official account even tweeted that he was finally getting his long-awaited date with “Strombone1”.

Even if he belongs to Florida, Canucks fans seem to have a soft side for their former goaltender. The website “Vancouver Is Awesome” found multiple tweets from Canucks fans wishing him well.

Luongo himself even expressed his gratitude towards the city and fan base of Vancouver. It appears Canucks fans are letting bygones be bygones, or maybe they just didn’t want to see division rival Edmonton win the cup, or both.

This might not erase those ghosts from game seven in Vancouver over a decade ago. It does give Luongo the prize that eluded him so much. It’s also slightly ironic because Luongo never even made the playoffs as a member of the Panthers during his playoff career.

Most of his years in Sunrise were spent during their lengthy playoff drought from 2000-2012. By the time the Panthers won the then Southeast Division, Luongo was one year removed from being a Western Conference champion and still sharing Vancouver’s crease with Cory Schneider.