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In case you missed the news earlier this week, the Vancouver Canucks announced that they will be honoring franchise leading goaltender Roberto Luongo by inducting him into their "Ring of Honour" next season.
Check it out:
Now, for those wondering this does NOT mean that Luongo's #1 will hang from the rafters at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The Canucks have retired #12 for Stan Smyl, #16 for Trevor Linden, #10 for Pavel Bure, #19 for Markus Naslund, #22 for Daniel Sedin and #33 for Henrik Sedin. They have further honored a "next tier" of players like Orland Kurtenbach, Kirk McLean, Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepsts, Pat Quinn, Mattias Ohlund, and Alex Burrows. It's that next tier that Luongo will join, rather than the first tier. To me, and to a LOT of Canucks fans, this is an absolute slap in the face. Luongo, along with the Sedins and Bure are the only players in franchise history to have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame based on their efforts in Vancouver. Sure, there are Hall of Famers like Mats Sundin, Mark Messier and Cam Neely who spent time with the Canucks... but let's get real. Those players will never be remembered as Canucks.
Luongo though... he's a Hall of Famer and the best goalie in franchise history. Period. There's no argument against it. Retire the guy's number already.
The funny thing is, with the Florida Panthers in Vancouver tonight to take on the Canucks, Luongo (who is on the Panthers' executive staff) was in the building for a pre-game ceremony that included both Henrik and Daniel Sedin where he gave an impassioned speech and even commented on the Ring of Honor vs jersey retirement debate in front of 18,000+ fans.
Check it out:
How classy is that?
Here's a guy who is clearly emotional about his legacy with the team, a guy who stood up there and addressed the anger this team has towards management/ownership and its decisions even when he didn't have to and THIS is how you repay him? With some silly made up "Ring of Honor" nod? Nonsense. Do the right thing.