The netminder for the Florida Panthers turned 37-year-old this April, making him one of the oldest active goalies in the NHL. Roberto Luongo has 15 years of experience playing in the NHL with multiple teams including the New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, and the Florida Panthers. He was traded to the Panthers in the 13-14 season and played 14 games with them, but this was not Luongo’s first stint with the Panthers. He played for them for five seasons from 2000 to 2006, before being traded to Vancouver. Luongo has played a total of 143 games for the Panthers since being traded back from the Canucks, including just six postseason games which occurred this post-season – when the Panthers lost to the Islanders in six games.
This season, Luongo has averaged a 2.35 goals against average and a .922 save percentage, which are both slightly better averages than his career average. They’re also almost identical to his numbers from last season, but he finished with 35 wins this time around compared to 28 the season before. Luongo had hip surgery this off-season and is expected to make a full recovery for the start of the 16-17 season. But the question that arises is, at the age of 37 how many more seasons does Luongo have in him? No matter the amount of heart he has for the game, his body will surely start to give in to the constant demands he has put it under throughout his 15 years in the NHL, and the Panthers surely have to take that into consideration as well.
Luongo still has 4 years left on his current contract with Florida, at an average of $4.53 million per season. You can expect Panthers general manager Tom Rowe to be searching for a viable replacement for the excellence that is Roberto Luongo, even if that replacement is just brought in to lighten the load in his final few seasons. We will just have to wait and see who Rowe chooses to be the successor for one of hockey’s all-time great net-minders.