Roberto Luongo will oversee a new goaltending excellence department established by the Florida Panthers.
Luongo is entering his second season as special adviser to general manager Bill Zito after playing 19 seasons in the NHL, including 11 for the Panthers. His 489 wins are third in NHL history behind Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551), and his No. 1 became the first jersey retired by Florida on March 7.
Longtime NHL goaltending coach Francois Allaire was named a consultant and will assist Luongo with what the Panthers said will focus on a comprehensive, integrated experience and program for all goalies in the system. Allaire will also coordinate and oversee coaching, development and scouting.
“This new endeavor for our organization is incredibly special,” Luongo said. “I’m honored to welcome Francois, whose impact on the goaltending position stands second to none. Each member of our goaltending excellence staff has traveled a different path and possesses a unique set of experiences and knowledge. I have a tremendous deal of respect for this group and couldn’t be more excited for the future.”
Allaire has more than 30 years of experience as an NHL goaltending coach, including with the Colorado Avalanche (2013-17), Toronto Maple Leafs (2009-12), Anaheim Ducks/Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1996-09) and Montreal Canadiens (1985-96), where he was the franchise’s first goaltending coach. He has won the Stanley Cup three times, twice with the Canadiens (1986, 1993) and once with the Ducks (2007).
“I’m proud and excited to be part of this encompassing new goaltending operation,” Allaire said. “Our collection of goaltending knowledge is extraordinary, and our players will have the benefit of a collaborative, united coaching experience throughout their careers with the Panthers. I’m thrilled to work with this talented group in establishing an unparalleled product of scouting, development and teaching.”
During Allaire’s time in the NHL, some of his proteges have included Luongo, Roy and Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
“Francois is a revered and highly influential figure in our game who has mentored a number of goaltenders to elite levels of play,” Zito said. “Francois and Roberto provide us with unmatched experience and an exceptional pedigree. Their guidance, in tandem with our goaltending excellence staff, gives us confidence in the evaluation of future talent and that Panthers goaltenders will be provided invaluable resources for their success and development.”
Also joining the department is Panthers goaltending coach Robb Tallas and Leo Luongo, the younger brother of Roberto Luongo and goaltending coach of Charlotte of the American Hockey League.