Rings and Plaques: Recapping Luongo and the Sedins’ first day as Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Lachlan Irvine
1 year ago
Canucks fans have been waiting a long time for this weekend, and the moment has finally come. Roberto Luongo, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin are officially entering the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The 2022 class that features Luongo and the Sedins, along with Daniel Alfredsson, Riikka Sallinen and the late Herb Carnegie, will have its official induction on Monday.
But today, the group began a weekend of festivities, with the inductees being given their official Hall of Fame rings and seeing their shiny new plaques for the first time.
Today we’ll take a look at the first day of festivities, including the ring ceremony, the ceremonial puck drop at the Hall of Fame game, and an odd line of questioning from a Toronto reporter.

Ring Bling

Henrik Sedin was unable to attend today after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, but he will be arriving in Toronto tomorrow for the rest of the festivities. But Daniel and Luongo were on hand to accept their awards and answer a few questions.

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Luongo was the first to be handed his ring, and the hard questions began immediately. When asked what team he was entering the Hall of Fame representing between the Canucks and Panthers, Luongo responded wryly, “Team Canada.”
Canucks fans would obviously understand if Luongo, a member of the Panthers’ front office since retirement, had elected to say Florida. The fact that he didn’t should tell you just how much he still considers himself a Canuck and treasured his time in Vancouver.
But if you ever find yourself needing to win an argument with a Panthers fan, just remember: Luongo is absolutely wearing the navy orca from his first Canucks season on his plaque.
After Daniel went up to receive his ring, he was asked where he was when he got the call from the Hall of Fame back in June. Daniel admitted he was in a less-than-ideal spot when the phone rang.
“I was back in Sweden, I was actually in the bathroom when they called,” Daniel said, eliciting laughter from the room. Then Luongo chimed in. “I know the feeling,” he said.
During a post-interview photo op, the group attempted the traditional simultaneous puck flip. Daniel was able to land it both times; Luongo, who never the strongest puck-handling goalie, had a harder time with it.

Puck Drop

After wrapping things up at the Hall, the Class of 2022 headed to Scotiabank Arena for a ceremonial puck drop before the Maple Leafs and Penguins game on Friday night.
Both Canucks received great applause from the Toronto crowd, including a few ‘Luuuuuuuu’s when Luongo was introduced.
But the biggest cheer came during an extremely heartwarming ovation for fellow Hall of Famer Borje Salming, who’s currently battling ALS, as a visibly emotional Darryl Sittler helped him raise a hand to the crowd.

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During the first intermission, Luongo, Daniel, and Alfredsson joined TSN’s James Duthie to discuss their inductions. When asked by Duthie about which one of the three is most likely to attempt a Michigan goal during the upcoming alumni game on Sunday, Luongo had the best response.
“I’m going to try the Wisconsin,” he said. “That’s when you try the Michigan, but you fall on your face.”
During the ring ceremony earlier, Luongo mentioned he hadn’t played goalie in any capacity since retiring due to his long-standing groin and hip injuries. With Luongo’s move to forward, both Alfredsson and Daniel agreed that he’s the most likely one to score a lacrosse goal on Sunday.

Why the Sedins’ induction proves Auston Matthews is better than Wayne Gretzky

It doesn’t, but that probably wouldn’t stop a Toronto beat reporter from making a case for it.
During the Leafs pre-game interviews ahead of the evening’s Hall of Fame festivities, a Toronto reporter asked captain John Tavares for any standout memories of facing the Sedins.
To his credit, Tavares gave a great answer to a great question, talking about the twins’ strength on the puck and their incredible ability to anticipate each other’s decisions on the ice.
That probably should’ve been the end of it. But enter TSN’s Mark Masters, who posed this question to Leafs captain John Tavares:
“You mentioned the Sedins always kind of knew where each other was, obviously [William] Nylander’s not your twin but you’ve played with him for a while. Do you have a sense of what he’s doing?”
On the surface, this just reads as a poorly worded segway into a question about the game that night. Certainly an odd choice, but not the worst offense.
Then Masters decided to tweet about it.
Canucks fans and media alike immediately pounced, and I can’t say it isn’t deserved. The way certain Toronto media members routinely take stories focusing on an unrelated NHLer or team and turn it into a Leafs-centric topic is as much somewhat impressive as it is mind-bogglingly stupid.
Trying to compare what the Sedins accomplished to how two linemates on a hot streak are playing is not only a massive insult to the twins’ years of accolades. It’s also kind of insulting to Leafs fans as if they wouldn’t understand the hard work a pair of Canucks put in throughout their career without some kind of Toronto comparison to it.
And this goes far beyond one question asked by one reporter. Toronto reporters have been doing this bit for decades, because heaven forbid any other team or player takes centre stage for a day. You usually can’t hear a nationally televised segment about the Sedins without one person going “Hey remember when Burkie almost signed them to the Leafs in 2008?”.
The same thing goes for the other Canucks Hall of Famer, too. “Hey, remember how Toronto almost got Luongo in 2013?”
And sure, every market is guilty of this at some level or another. We still talk about the time Wayne Gretzky almost became a Canuck in 1997 once in a while, but at least it doesn’t come up every time anybody mentions the Great One.
With all that in mind, if Toronto reporters can give up this silly trait for good, it would probably ease some tension between these two markets.

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