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.

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    Canada scores five unanswered in 5-1 rout of Team USA at Worlds

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    Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.

    The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.

    Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.

    Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.

    The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.

    Rangers’ Lindberg has hip surgery, will need six months to recover

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Oscar Lindberg #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second goal of the game at 5:12 of the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”

    That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.

    The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.

    In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.

    “I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”

    In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).

    Related: Rangers sign Lindberg

    Report: Wild talked to Crawford, Boucher about head coaching gig

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    Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.

    Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.

    Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.

    Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…

    Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.

    An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.

    Caggiula expected to sign shortly, Canucks could be front-runners

    during the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at Amalie Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.The North Dakota Fighting Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-1 to win the national title. Getty
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    College free agent Drake Caggiula is expected to pick a team shortly, possibly even today.

    The University of North Dakota winger had originally shortlisted six teams, according to a report. Those teams were Philadelphia, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Chicago and Buffalo.

    TSN’s Bob McKenzie said this morning on Edmonton radio that the Canucks are “maybe” the front-runners to land the 21-year-old. Vancouver signed Caggiula’s teammate, defenseman Troy Stecher, a couple of weeks ago, and Caggiula’s linemate, Brock Boeser, was drafted by the Canucks in the first round last year.

    Recently, Boeser told Postmedia that he was trying to convince Caggiula to sign with Vancouver, where there will be plenty of opportunities for young forwards in the next couple of years.

    If it’s not the Canucks, McKenzie said he’s heard the Oilers have a “puncher’s chance” of getting Caggiula.