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Canucks legend Roberto Luongo is a Stanley Cup champion

13 years after falling short of the Stanley Cup with the Vancouver Canucks, Roberto Luongo is finally a Stanley Cup champion with the Florida Panthers.
Roberto Luongo lifts the Stanley Cup as part of the management team for the Florida Panthers.

Roberto Luongo came agonizingly close to winning the Stanley Cup with the Vancouver Canucks in 2011.

13 years later, Luongo found himself back in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Only this time he was in the press box, helplessly watching as the team he helped put together, the Florida Panthers, faced the Edmonton Oilers.

Luongo did have one role to play for the Panthers ahead of the game, beating on a drum to hype up the crowd. He did this remarkably well. 

"I had a lot of pent-up emotion over the last week, so I needed to let thatt out," said Luongo.

Perhaps the Panthers took inspiration from the Hall-of-Famer, as they played a fantastic game against the Oilers, holding on for the 2-1 win and avoiding one of the most ignominious collapses in NHL history.

Luongo beat the Stanley Cup to the ice, immediately congratulating winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, because the goalie guild lasts forever.

"I'm just so happy for him and proud of him," said Luongo. 

The stars aligned for Luongo, as he won the Cup with the Panthers on the 24th anniversary of being traded to the Panthers — the first time. 

"It doesn't feel real right now," said Luongo after lifting the Cup. "Put in a lot of work, whether that's on the ice or off the ice the last few years — finally, we got here. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Luongo isn't the only former Canuck to win the Stanley Cup on Monday, as Oliver Ekman-Larsson and one-time prospect Gustav Forsling also hoisted the Cup with the Panthers. In fact, Ekman-Larsson is still on the Canucks' salary cap thanks to his buyout this past offseason. Former Canucks prospects Jonah Gadjovich and Will Lockwood also played games for the Panthers this season, with Gadjovich coming two games short of the required 41 to have his name etched on the Cup — it's entirely likely the Panthers will petition the NHL to add his name anyway.

But Canucks fans online were mostly just happy for Luongo.

Luongo, for his part, is very appreciative of the support he continues to receive from Canucks fans.

"I just want to thank especially the people of Vancouver for their support," said Luongo. "I've received a lot of messages over the last two months from people rooting for me, so I'm truly grateful for them. I always enjoy going back there and I look forward to going back there next season."