Canucks GM Mike Gillis confirms that the NHL is looking into Roberto Luongo's 12-year deal

grinningluongo.jpgLast night, I pointed out the startling revelation that the league might investigate existing contracts after Ilya Kovalchuk’s cap-circumventing deal was rejected.

Still, it’s one thing to hear such conjecture and a whole other thing to hear a little bit of confirmation on the subject. The Vancouver Sun got in touch with Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis late last night and Gillis justified the speculation in this story.

Canuck general manager Mike Gillis confirmed in an email to the Vancouver Sun Monday night that the league is indeed studying Luongo’s 12-year, $64 million contract.

“We have complied with the NHL request for information and are awaiting further instructions,” Gillis said. “Cannot say anything further at this point.”

Luongo’s deal, signed last September, begins this season and will pay him $10 million in 2010-11. In the final year, when he is 43, Luongo is scheduled to make just $1 million. The goaltender’s cap hit over the 12 years is $5.33 million.

In regards to Luongo’s contract, Bloch wrote:”[Luongo] has a 12-year agreement that will end when he is 43. After averaging some $7,000,000 per year for the first 9 years of the Agreement, Luongo will receive an average of about 1.2 million during his last 3 years, amounting to some 5.7% of the total compensation during that time period.”

It’s hasty to say that Luongo is no longer among the NHL’s elite goalies because of an off year or two, but there’s little doubt that his contract looks a lot riskier right now. As I pointed out yesterday, my guess is many of the teams who signed some of those fishy contracts that arbitrator Richard Bloch pointed out would love a mulligan unless they receive serious fines.

Too bad the Blackhawks can’t convince someone that Cristobal Huet’s contract is illegal. Unfortunately, that deal just circumvents logic.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension

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Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.

Report: Kings, Richards nearing settlement

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The Los Angeles Kings and Mike Richards may be nearing a settlement in their dispute over Richards’ terminated contract, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting.

You can read the report for all the details, but we’re sure curious about this part:

If a settlement is reached, there’s no word yet on what salary cap penalties the Kings would still face. There’s bound to be something, but not likely as onerous as the full value of Richards’ contract, which carries with it a cap hit of $5.75 million. If there’s a settlement, Richards would undoubtedly become a free agent though there’s no telling at this point what monies he would be entitled to from the Kings in a settlement.

The issue here is precedent, and what this case could set. The NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door, and many are adamant that that’s what the Kings were attempting to do in Richards’ case.