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HOF for Lu, Kiersted Re-Signed

June 27, 2022, 9:46 PM ET [16 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Panthers fan favorite, Roberto Luongo, will make one last stop in his hockey journey when he finds himself in Toronto as one of the newest members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But why let me tell it when the Panthers’ site sums it up so well…

Originally selected by the New York Islanders with the fourth overall pick in 1997, Luongo's career spanned 19 seasons following his NHL debut on Nov. 28, 1999. He owns the fourth-most wins (489) and ninth-most shutouts (77) in League history and is second all-time in games played by a goaltender, having appeared in 1,044 games between the New York Islanders (1999-00), Vancouver Canucks (2006-07 to 2013-14) and Florida Panthers (2000-01 to 2005-06, 2013-14 to 2018-19).

The Parkland, Fla., resident spent 11 seasons in a Florida Panthers uniform and still holds several franchise goaltending records including games played (572), wins (230), shutouts (38), saves (16,086), single-season games played (75, 2005-06), single-season saves (2,303, 2003-04) and single-season shutouts (tied - 7, 2003-04).

Through his career with the Panthers, Luongo represented the club at the NHL All-Star Game three times (2004, 2015, 2016). He was a finalist for the 2003-04 Vezina Trophy after posting a franchise-record .931 save percentage over 72 games played, the best mark among goaltenders with at least 50 games played that season.

On the international stage, Luongo is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, helping backstop Team Canada to gold in 2010 and 2014. He also earned gold at the IIHF World Championship in 2003 and 2004 as well as the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Luongo announced his retirement from the NHL in June of 2019 and joined the Panthers front office, currently serving as Special Advisor to the General Manager and as a founding member of the organization's Goaltending Excellence Department. In a pregame ceremony prior to the Panthers matchup vs. the Montreal Canadiens on March 7, 2020, he became the first Florida Panthers player to have his number retired by the club.

The 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend festivities will run from Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13 culminating with the Induction Celebration on Monday, November 14, 2022.”

Some seriously impressive numbers from Lou - who also has a great sense of humor to boot. But the stat that really sticks out to me is the single-season games played of 75 during the 2005-06 season. That’s seven games shy of playing the full season, and only four games short of Grant Fuhr’s 1995-96 iron man season of 79…wow.

I always liked Lou in Florida’s blue paint. He bailed a lot of bad Cats teams out over the years with skill, savvy and a calming presence.

Cheers to #1 on a great career that gets topped off with the highest honors of the HOF!

In current Panthers news…defenseman Matt Kiersted has been resigned to a two-year contract where 2022-23 will be a two-way contract and 2023-24 will be a one-way contract.

Is Kiersted the answer on the blue line? Obviously not. But I like the signing because he’s one of the rookies on the backend that could have some potential.

For an undrafted guy who only had 10 games this past season (1 G, 1 A) on a stacked roster, I thought he showed good poise, vision and a knack for blocking shots. Should be interesting to see if he keeps progressing.

Lastly, has anyone checked out this interview with Paul Maurice yet? Looking forward to hearing what his vision and ideas are. If anyone has watched, what did you think? Worth getting excited about?


Glad the season is finally over. Let’s get to the summer trades and signings…go Panthers!
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