Last 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.