The Vancouver Canucks have just announced that Roberto Luongo has re-signed, to the tune of a 12-year deal! No word yet on the official dollar amount, but it was rumoured to be a $64 million dollar deal (that’s $5.3 million per season). If that dollar figure is correct, it has the potential to do a lot of things.
This will make the Canucks more competitive in the short term, no question. Luongo is really a $7 million goalie. Having him on the hook for almost $2 million under market value will allow the Canucks to go out and sign a $6 million player instead of a $4 million player, which is significant. That’s the difference between signing a 1st liner or a 2nd liner.
Short term is clear, but long term isn’t as much. If Luongo plays out the balance of his contract, it will pay him $5.3 million per season until he is 42. I don’t know of any goalie in NHL history that was worth that much money in his 40s. Of course if the salary cap goes down, this will be magnified, and if it goes up, this will be minimized.
The scenario that Mike Gillis is probably banking on though, is the scenario where Luongo is a bargain for the next 5-6 years, and retires at the point where he is no longer an elite goaltender. Luongo strikes me as the type that would do that anyway (how many elite goaltenders become backups at the end of their career?).