Milestone watching in Florida: Luongo and Jagr

Updated: January 11, 2018 at 3:04 am by Cam Lewis

The playoff dream for the Panthers may be all but dead at this point, but it’s still been a pretty interesting season in Sunrise. The Panthers have an exciting core of young players, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the team is they boast both the NHL’s active leader in wins for a goaltender and points scored by a skater. It’s an interesting blend of young talent and veteran legacy, that’s for sure. 

I’m sure most people know that already, but Roberto Luongo and Jaromir Jagr have both been tearing up their respective all time leader boards this season. Jagr currently sits fourth all time with 1,798 points, while Luongo is 11th all time with 400 wins. 

Realistically, where will these guys end up? Can Luongo get anywhere near Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur? Can Jagr surpass Gordie Howe and Mark Messier and become the second more prolific scorer in league history? 

Let’s start with Bobby Lou, who just earned his 400th career win a few days ago against the Carolina Hurricanes. Luongo and his 400 wins sit 11th all time on the list of wins for a goaltender in the NHL. One more win will tie him with Chris Osgood for 10th, three more will tie him with Grant Fuhr for ninth, and seven more will tie him with Glenn Hall for eighth. He’ll probably catch Osgood by the time this season wraps up, but we’ll have to wait until next season for him to pass Fuhr and Hall. After that, it’s really anybody’s guess as to how high he’ll finish on the list. 

Here’s what he would have to do to climb up the all time wins ladder:

  • One win to catch Chris Osgood for 10th (401)
  • Three wins to catch Grant Fuhr for 9th (403)
  • Seven wins to catch Glenn Hall for 8th (407)
  • 23 wins to catch Tony Esposito for 7th (423)
  • 37 wins to catch Jacques Plante for 6th (437)
  • 47 wins to catch Terry Sawchuk for 5th (447)
  • 54 wins to catch Curtis Joseph for 4th (454)
  • 84 wins to catch Ed Belfour for 3rd (484)
  • 151 wins to catch Patrick Roy for 2nd (551)
  • 291 wins to catch Martin Brodeur for 1st (691)

Luongo turned 36 years old yesterday and he still has seven years left on his behemoth contract. Does that mean he’s actually going to play until he’s actually going to play until he’s 43? Probably not (unless he follows his new teammate Jaromir Jagr’s lead). Regardless of how long he decides to play, it’s reasonable to expect Luongo has at least three or four more good years left in him. He’s been really good since returning to Florida last year and the Panthers seem to be turning a corner and are looking like they might actually be a really good team in the next few years. 

I know that Luongo is Marty Brodeur, but for comparisons sake, Brodeur won 45 games when he was 37, 23 when he was 38, and 31 when he was 39. On the other hand, Patrick Roy had a 32 win season when he was 36, and a 35 win season when he was 37 before retiring. Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour both managed a few 30 win seasons in their late 30s before calling it quits at the age of 41. Basically, while we can’t predict exactly how long Luongo is going to want to play, other goaltenders in the past have maintained a solid level of play well into their late 30s. So finishing that contract that expires in 2022 might not be completely impossible. 

Personally, I think Luongo is a damn near guarantee to hit 500 career wins. To do so, he would have to maintain an average of 20 wins per season for the next five years, which would take him until he’s 41 — the same age Belfour and Joseph were when they retired. He’s at 27 wins this season, he had 25 last year, 31 in 2011-12, and 38 in 2010-11, and only nine in the lockout shortened 2013 season. His numbers since joining the Panthers have been strong and align nicely with his career averages. As long as he continues to get starts in Florida, he’s going to rack up some wins. And if the time continues to trend upwards as it has this season, those win totals could start to inflate.

While the 500 career wins club seems fairly likely for Luongo, I don’t see him reaching Patrick Roy, and he obviously isn’t coming anywhere near Brodeur. It’ll be fun to watch him inch his way to the top if he decides to ride out the rest of his contract. 


Next up is Jaromir Jagr, the timeless sensation. Apparently he has another seven years left in him, which would be incredible, but being realistic, we’ll probably see him play for another one or two years. Being born in 1993, I can barely imagine a world without Jaromir Jagr playing hockey because his three year hiatus almost seems like it didn’t even happen. I mean, the guy has played in the league longer than the franchise he plays for has existed. 

He currently sits tied for fourth in all time scoring with former teammate Ron Francis with the next two guys, Gordie Howe and Mark Messier, sort of within striking distance. I wonder where he would have ended up had he not taken three years off between 2008-11. 

Here’s what he would have to do to climb up the all time wins ladder:

  • 52 points to catch Gordie Howe for 3rd (1,850)
  • 89 points to catch Mark Messier for 2nd (1,887)
  • 1,059 points to catch Wayne Gretzky for 1st (2,857)

I had to check my calculator multiple times before typing that out. Despite being within 89 points of second in all time scoring, Jagr is still over 1000 points behind Wayne Gretzky. I mean, Jagr would need 165 more points to tie only Gretzky’s assist total, let alone the goals. 

Since coming back to the NHL with the Flyers in 2011 at the age of 39, Jagr has produced at a relatively consistent clip. With the Flyers, he put up 54 points, then he scored 35 with Dallas and Boston in the lockout year, then 67 with New Jersey, and 43 so far this year with New Jersey and Florida. In terms of points per game average, Jagr has put up 0.74, 0.78, 0.82, and 0.59 points per game in his four seasons since returning to the league. It’s reasonable to assume he’s going to continue to trend downward, as he has this season, but it’s also completely possible he exceeds expectations like he did last year in New Jersey when he put up 67 points in 82 games. A very conservative estimate would be an average of 0.50 points per game for another two years, which would likely give him another 80 points to his total, bringing him to within nine of Messier. 

I’ve got a feeling Jagr will keep playing until he’s second in all time scoring. He hasn’t openly said anything about it, that’s just a hunch. If teams keep paying him to play and he still wants to, he’ll play in the NHL. Another two seasons and we could very easily see him as the second highest scorer in NHL history. 

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