Roberto Luongo is making Florida Panthers history.
Luongo will be the first player ever to have their number retired by the 26-year-old franchise. His No. 1 will be raised to the rafters of the BB&T Center on March 7, 2020.
The 40-year-old netminder retired from the National Hockey League in June after 20 years in the league,
Panthers owner Vincent Viola called him “a cornerstone of Panther history and an icon of the game” in a statement released Monday morning.
“He has represented himself and the Panthers with tremendous dignity, determination and a standard of excellence throughout his career,” Viola said. “Roberto exemplifies what it means to be a Florida Panther. His level of commitment to this franchise, his teammates, his family and the South Florida community is second to none. There is no player more deserving to be the first Florida Panther to have his jersey number retired.”
Luongo, who played 11 total seasons (2000-06, 2013-19) with the Panthers, thanked the organization for the “incredible recognition.”
“It’s quite an honor to be the first player to have his number retired by the Panthers,” he said, per the statement. “I’m truly looking forward to sharing this special night with my friends, family, teammates and the Panthers fans.”
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images