Video: Canucks pay tribute to Roberto Luongo


Roberto Luongo is making his first start in Vancouver tonight since his March 2014 trade to the Florida Panthers.

During a break in play in the first period the Canucks paid tribute to Luongo, who spent eight seasons in Vancouver.

Related: Expect a lengthy ovation for Luongo tonight in Vancouver

Expect a lengthy ovation for Luongo tonight in Vancouver


Watching his press conference Tuesday at Rogers Arena, it was hard to believe what they used to call Roberto Luongo.

Cocky. Arrogant. Entitled. Overly sensitive. Glib. Moody.

None of those words came to mind as he chatted amiably with reporters ahead of Thursday’s game between his current team, the Florida Panthers, and his old one, the Canucks.

He was asked if he was ever misunderstood during his time in Vancouver.

“I think earlier in my stay here, but that was a bit of my own fault as well,” he said. “The way I would handle certain things, whether it’s with the media or the fans.

“I kind of figured that whole thing out towards the end of my stay here. It’s kind of a shame that that’s the way it happened. Sometimes you have to go through some adversity to realize and understand and do the right things.

“My whole perspective on a lot of stuff has changed over the last couple of years, the way I handle things. I just try to have as much fun as I can out there, realizing that I’m 35 now, so I just want to have fun playing the game and play hard and do the best that I can.”

Twitter has helped Luongo immensely, providing a medium to show off a self-deprecating sense of humor that never came through, or maybe he hadn’t developed yet, before.

Not that he didn’t try to be funny. Except more often than not, his attempts at humor would fall flat. His delivery in front of the cameras would just be a touch…off. People wouldn’t laugh; they’d bristle.

As they say, good comedy is all in the delivery.

Consider: Luongo said his biggest regret with the Canucks was never winning a Stanley Cup. In the four losses to Boston in the 2011 final, he allowed 20 goals. For that, combined with a couple of imprudent remarks he directed towards Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, he was mocked and vilified. At the time, for him, and for Vancouver hockey fans, there was nothing funny about it.

Yet fast forward a few years and this is the kind of thing he’s tweeting:

And the fans, by and large, have loved him for it.

To retell Luongo’s entire story in Vancouver would require multiple volumes, kind of like how Tolstoy broke up War and Peace. No other athlete in the city’s history — not Pavel Bure, not Todd Bertuzzi — has stirred so much debate. They still debate him today. They will for a while.

Tonight, the Canucks will honor Luongo with a video tribute. A lengthy ovation will follow. That, you can be sure of.

“I think it’s going to be emotional,” he said yesterday. “I’m flattered they’d do that. I told (the organization) it wasn’t necessary but I’m happy there’s some sort of recognition.

“I think it’s good for both sides.”

Goalie nods: Talbot goes for Rangers in Cup Final rematch vs. L.A.


All the latest from the blue paint…

Cam gets Kings

After Henrik Lundqvist beat Anaheim last night, the Rangers will give Cam Talbot the start this evening when they take on the Kings for the first time since last year’s Stanley Cup Final.

Talbot, who’s emerged as one of the league’s better backups over the last season-and-a-half, last played on Dec. 21 against Carolina, stopping all 18 shots faced for his third shutout of the season. The 27-year-old is 3-3-1 on the year with a 2.02 GAA and .928 save percentage, and has just one loss in his last four outings.

No official word yet on who’ll start for the Kings, though Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice at today’s morning skate.


Devils at Bruins: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, no word yet on a Boston starter.

Caps at Flyers: Steve Mason for Philly, no word yet on a Washington starter.

Sabres at ‘Canes: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cam Ward

Blackhawks at Wild: Corey Crawford vs. Niklas Backstrom

Stars at Preds: Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Sharks at Blues: Antti Niemi vs. Brian Elliott

Sens at Avs: Craig Anderson vs. Semyon Varlamov

Jets at Coyotes: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Mike Smith

Panthers at Canucks: Roberto Luongo vs. Ryan Miller

Luongo to former Canucks GM: No hard feelings


If there’s one phrase to describe Roberto Luongo’s thoughts on returning to Vancouver as a member of the Florida Panthers tonight, it would seemingly be “well-adjusted.”

That seemed clear here, and carried over to this interview with Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, as Luongo admitted that his first trip back to actually start against the Canucks on the road is a pretty big deal.

A few takeaways?

  • It’s more about interacting with Canucks fans again, rather than beating his former team. He said that he looks back at his time in Vancouver as one in which the good heavily outweighed the bad.
  • The 35-year-old really appreciates that, timing wise, he’s been able to spend a good chunk of time in Vancouver (thanks to the way Florida’s schedule worked out).
  • While he hasn’t actually spoken to former Canucks GM Mike Gillis, he doesn’t have hard feelings. It seems like Luongo believes that Gillis did his best.

Could some of this be Luongo softening the message for the media? Perhaps. Maybe it also has something to do with time healing wounds.

Either way, it should be really interesting to see how Luongo performs and reacts to a game in front of that Vancouver crowd (and vice versa).

He’s not giving them many reasons to jeer him, if nothing else.

(Video) Luongo: ‘I’d probably maybe still be here’


Roberto Luongo will make his return to Vancouver on Thursday when the Florida Panthers visit the Canucks.

With the team already in town, the 35-year-old met the Vancouver media for the first time since his March 2014 trade on Tuesday.

Luongo, who spent eight seasons in Vancouver admitted he’d likely be in a Canucks jersey if he’d started last season’s Heritage Classic.

“There’s no hiding it. I did want to play that game. That goes without saying,” said Luongo. “If I would’ve played, I’d probably maybe still be here. Who knows? I don’t know. I don’t like to use the term disrespected, especially after what I’ve been through over the last few years. I feel like whatever hand you’re dealt, you have to deal with it as best you can.”

As for his biggest disappointment, Luongo pointed to the 2011 Stanley Cup final where the Canucks came a win shy of capturing it all.

“I’m just disappointed I wasn’t able to bring a cup here,” he said. “This market wants one more than anything. If anything, that’s the main thing I’m disappointed about.”

Luongo was dealt to the Panthers on March 4, 2014 in a trade which saw the Canucks land goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.

In 448 regular season games with the Canucks, Luongo was 252-137-50 to go along with a 2.36 G.A.A. and a .919 save percentage.