Chara delivers personal gift to Luongo this past weekend

The classiest captain in the NHL?

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In case you missed it, Florida Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo was in vintage form this past weekend in a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The soon to be 40 year old goaltender was absolutely brilliant in his team’s victory and absolutely robbed Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on the doorstep.

Check it out:

Vintage Lu, right there.

Luongo has made headlines recently as speculation continues to mount that he’ll retire this upcoming offseason. Sensing that this could be the last time he faces off against the future Hall of Fame net minder, Chara delivered a special message to Luongo before Saturday’s contest.

Check it out, courtesy of WEEI’s Matt Kalman:

The stick was passed from one team’s equipment staff to the other. It was long and it was inscribed across the blade in silver Sharpie:
“To Luo: Awesome to watch you play. Keep going! Zdeno Chara 33”
Short and to the point, the Bruins captain clearly wanted to send a message to 39-year-old (40 on April 4) goaltender Roberto Luongo to follow his lead and keep on playing.
“We both said wouldn’t it be cool if we kept on going,” Chara told after a 4-1 loss to Luongo’s Florida Panthers.

How awesome is that? The two, of course, have a long history as it was Chara who captained the Bruins to a Stanley Cup champion over Luongo during his time with the Vancouver Canucks. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was a part of that Cup winning team, as well and has marvelled at Luongo’s career.

“Well he’s had a heck of a career, you know,” Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask said. “I mean a great, great goalie. Still fun to watch that he’s plugging away and making great saves out there. I don’t know how many year he’s got left but happy to see there’s still veteran guys out there.”

If this is indeed the end for Luongo… what an incredible career he’s had. He’s arguably the best goaltender to never win a Stanley Cup championship… again thanks to Chara.