Canucks: What they're saying about Roberto Luongo going into the Ring of Honour

Rounding up what’s being said before Roberto Luongo’s Vancouver Canucks Ring of Honour night at Rogers Arena

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Roberto Luongo is going to added to the Vancouver Canucks’ Ring of Honour on Thursday evening at Rogers Arena.

Before the game, a number of former teammates and other contemporaries have weighed in on his elevation to a special place in Canucks lore.

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The decision to merely honour his name and not retire his jersey number has been a subject of hot debate.

Here’s a sampling of what’s been said this week.

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Mike Gillis, former Canucks GM, told Sekeres and Price on Thursday that Luongo’s number should be retired.

“Retired number. I think his play, his community work, leadership, I think he fits all the criteria for someone who should have that honour,” Gillis said emphatically. “The things he did away from the rink, which he did not publicize, he did not bring to anyone’s attention, were really strong.”

• Former backup Eddie Lack was also unequivocal in retiring No. 1 in Luongo’s honour.

“For crying out loud, he was the goalie and the captain. That said everything. He carried that team and was the best player,” he told Postmedia.

• But Lack predecessor Cory Schneider was a little more cautious, telling Postmedia he could see a case either way.

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“Interesting question — there are arguments for and against (number retirement),” Schneider said. “He had one of the most successful runs in team history, and memorable moments. He checks off a lot of boxes.

“Maybe one wasn’t longevity. For me, when I think of players who are generational — which you don’t get very often — the Sedins, (Trevor) Linden, (Pavel) Bure and (Stan) Smyl — Roberto is right up there in the upper echelon of players in Vancouver.”

• Former Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis spoke in general terms to Sportsnet about Luongo’s legacy, but it is interesting that the players he listed off all have their numbers retired.

“I think that’s pretty neat to really recognize the impact he had on the franchise and the organization. Guys like him, guys like Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl and the Sedins,” he said. “The phrase ‘The heart of a Canuck,’ I feel like they really embodied that and truly left the jersey in a better place. Their legacy really carries on and has an impact far down the road with the standards they set.”

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• Former Canuck turned TSN analyst Frank Corrado pointed out that, first of all, no one will try wearing No. 1 for the Canucks so why not retire it without even considering his stature with the team.

“There’s a lot of opinions on this. I’m probably in more of the camp you can retire Roberto Luongo’s number and not get any backlash on this,” he said on the Sekeres and Price podcast.

• It wasn’t just the way he played in Vancouver, it was how he played in relation to the rest of the league, former coach Alain Vigneault said on CHEK-TV’s Donnie and Dhali show.

“His whole career at his time, he was one of the top performers in the goaltending position,” Vigneault said. Vigneault, of course, was involved in the decision to make Luongo the first goalie to serve as a captain in decades. He also noted Luongo’s remarkable leadership qualities.

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“The impact he had on the team and his teammates was without a doubt one of the top during that time, and it’s a great honour for a great person,” he said of Luongo being added to the Ring of Honour.

“We named him captain because he was a great leader and he was able to influence teammates the right way, so that they would get themselves ready and would be able to go out on the ice and perform. He was not one of those wacky goaltenders.”

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