Roberto Luongo set to play goalie for the first time since retirement at All Star Skills Competition
Photo credit:NHLI via Getty Images
10 months ago
You knew it would be impossible to keep Roberto Luongo from wearing the pads for long.
Luongo, who was recently inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin, is set to don his goalie gear once again as he will suit up as the celebrity goaltender for Breakaway Challenge during the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition on February 3rd.
Luongo hasn’t worn the pads since he retired in 2019, and was very open post-retirement about just how hard it had become for him to prepare his body to play goal.
“I love the game so much, but the commitment I required to prepare, to keep my body ready, has become overwhelming,” said Luongo after he retired. “Since I had my hip surgery a couple of years ago, I’ve been showing up two hours before every practice and three hours before every game to work out my hip.
“Even at night, whether it was the night before a game or even a night off, there I was rolling out, doing strengthening exercises. My entire life revolved around recovery, strengthening, and making sure I was ready to go the next day.”
Luongo notably suited up as a centre for the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Game, where he scored two goals and even bested Henrik Sedin in the faceoff dot. In 2020, Luongo was open about the fact that he had no plans to wear the pads again, “at least not for a while.”
But on February 3rd, that will all change.
Of course, the point of the Breakaway Challenge isn’t so much about making a move to try to beat the goaltender, it’s more so about dazzling the fans with the zaniest and most entertaining sequence possible before eventually putting the puck in the net.
If we know anything about Luongo, it’s that he’s sure to have a few tricks of his own up his sleeve during the event.
The All-Star Weekend is taking place in Luongo’s current home city of Sunrise, Florida, as the Panthers, who Luongo serves as a special assistant to the general manager for, are hosting this year’s festivities.
Here are the parameters laid out by the NHL for the Breakaway Challenge:
Recent articles from David Quadrelli