Luongo's in for the long run

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

It's finally official, finally.

After a summer of unconfirmed reports, the Canucks locked up goaltender and captain Roberto Luongo yesterday to a 12-year contract extension worth $64 million.

"We're really thankful for the Canucks management to have the confidence in me to give me this kind of contract," Luongo said via phone conference call. "I just want to play as long as I can."

The front-loaded deal, which has a $5.33-million salary cap hit, gives the Canucks flexibility salary-wise starting next offseason as Luongo's current contract eats up $6.75 million of the team's cap space.

Luongo will receive $10 million during the first season of the contract, while it will gradually decreases until the final two years where he'll be paid $1 million per season.

It was a deal that benefitted both sides, according to Luongo.

"We had to do something that makes sense for both me and the team, and I think that's what we accomplished by doing a deal where the money is a bit more front-loaded," he said.

The 6'3", 205-lbs goaltender posted a 33-13-7 record last year while setting a franchise record for most shutouts in a season with nine.

The contract, which has the 30-year-old Montreal native signed through the 2021-22 season, also includes a no-trade and no-movement clause.

More importantly though, it means the Canucks will be a top cup-contending team for the next decade.

"He's the face of our organization," said Mike Gillis yesterday. "We've seen goalies play at high levels right into their 40's. We feel he's the most dominant player in his position right now and should be for a long-time coming.


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