Arguably the best goaltender to sport Canuck colors will make his return to Rogers Arena for the first time since he was traded to the Florida Panthers last season.
Some may know him as Bobby Lou or @Strombone1 from his infamous Twitter account and when he makes a save chants of Luuuuu roar into the bowels of the arena.
As the legendary Tom Larscheid would say, Bingo Bango Bongo, his name is Roberto Luongo.
The netminder began his career in Vancouver in 2006 when he was acquired from the Panthers. Throughout his eight year tenure he left memories that Canuck nation will cherish forever, even if they were good or bad. Luongo once served as our Captain and recorded 252 wins, making him the winningest goalie in Canucks history. The numbers speak for themselves and as we reflect on his time in Vancouver, the positives outweigh the negatives.
His mere presence changed the culture and vibe in the locker room. Whether it was his humorous personality that he brought to the media or his charming tactics with the community, one thing was clear, he wanted to win. His passion and drive was never in question and that commitment to his craft spread to other players during his term.
Things turned for the worse following the 2011 Stanley Cup Final when the Canucks fell short of expectations and collapsed in game seven against Boston. It’s a night we’d all like to forget but it serves as moment where fans looked at Luongo as one of the key reasons this city did not hoist the cup. It all went downhill from there as contract negotiations, trade speculations, goalie controversies, and suspected conflicts with management took over the headlines.
We suddenly forgot about Luongo’s ability to stop the puck and focused our attention elsewhere, nitpicking every detail that stirred the pot. In the end Luongo went back to Florida and more than half of the fan base was left wondering if Luongo leaving was the best thing for this organization.
The popular figure may have taken his talents to South Beach but he continues to be a popular figure in this city. As time passed and fans begin to reflect, it’s clear that Luongo was one of the best players to ever play in a Canucks uniform. Tonight will be his first time playing in Rogers Arena since is final home start as a Canuck on January 29, 2014.
The Panthers (17-11-9) are tenth in the Eastern Conference with 37 points and are battling for a playoff spot while the Canucks are trying to add to the their point total in the tight Western Conference. The Canucks currently sit at the fifth slot but are only two points ahead of the Kings who are at eighth.
Puck drop to the reunion is set for 7pm.Tune into Spice Sports for all the pre-game action.