Jan 13, 2013, 6:50 PM EDT
Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis fired back at critics who argue that Roberto Luongo‘s long-term contract is a roadblock to any potential trade.
“There’s been a lot more interest in Roberto than people wanted to recognize because the contract was onerous or difficult,” Gillis said in a Vancouver Sun report.
“That has never been mentioned to me by one team. I know some people like to make a big deal of that but it’s a very friendly contract for a lot of reasons. That’s one of the reasons why in the new collective agreement there are penalties and you can’t sign these types of contracts because they are favorable. So contract is not an issue.”
The all-star goaltender will turn 34 in April and comes with an annual cap hit of $5,333,333 through 2021-22. As a result of the “Luongo rule,” his team will not be completely spared from his cap hit even if he decides to retire before his contract is over.
The new CBA also allows the Canucks to retain a portion of his cap hit and salary in an effort to make his contract more appealing to potential suitors. However, Vancouver isn’t eager to do that.
“I haven’t talked to anyone about keeping a portion of his contract,” Gillis said. “Is that off the table? No, I mean everything is on the table when you talk about those things. There are concepts you can discuss. But Roberto is an all-star goaltender and I don’t feel compelled or see any reason why we would go down that path with a player of this caliber.”
Gillis is believed to be looking for a roster player and a good prospect in exchange for the Montreal-native. For his part, Luongo is willing to be patient with the Canucks.
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