Did Luongo take a Pay-Cut??

roberto-luongo

The wait is over, and it looks like our captain will retire as a Canuck.

A 12-year $64-million contract means an average $5.33-million annual cap hit, more than one million dollars less than his last contract. Although, officially the cap reduction won’t happen until next season, this gives the Canucks very good Cap space in the future.

With a no-movement clause included, this will mean that Luongo will most likely finish out his career in Vancouver, latest by the 2021-22 season. However, most analysts believe that he will choose to retire a couple of years before the contract expires.

This is the break down of his salary:

2010-2011 $10-million
2011-2012 $6.716-million
2012-2013 $6.714-million
2013-2014 $6.714-million
2014-2015 $6.714-million
2015-2016 $6.714-million
2016-2017 $6.714-million
2017-2018 $6.714-million
2018-2019 $3.382-million
2019-2020 $1.618-million
2020-2021 $1-million
2021-2022 $1-million

I’ve seen fans saying that Mike Gillis pulled another super deal to secure Luongo long-term at a significant pay-cut. Being a top-end goaltender, arguably the top 3 in the league, and at the prime of his career, he’s worth way more than $5.33-million per season.

Although, I also congratulate Gillis for his job well-done, you can argue that Luongo didn’t really take a pay-cut in any form. This is simply the Capologist spreading out the annual cap-hit.

The first $10-million per first season is way overpaid, which I believe is used to compensate the final 3 years of the contract, during which I believe Luongo will retire. Luongo is now 30-years old, let’s say that he does retire after the 2018-2019 season, by then he will be 40-years old.

Adding all the salary paid up to 2019, this will equal $6.7-million per season for the next 9 years.

Martin Brodeur, 37, makes $5.2-million per season, up until he’s 40. But when he was 30, also his prime year, he made $6.9-million per season. At 33, he signed a six-year contract worth approx. $5.2-million per season. Everybody knows that Brodeur took a pay-cut to stay with the Devils. (Salary Reference & NHL Numbers)

Miika Kiprusoff, 32, last season made $8-million in salary, and will continue to make $7-million per season for the next two years. At 30, also his prime year, he was in a previous contract which gave him only $3.5-million.

Tim Thomas, 35, recently signed a new contract extension of $6-million per season for the next two years, then $5-million and $3-million for the remaining two.

Nikolai Khabibulin, 36, last season made $6.75-million in salary. That was also the final year of his 4-year contract with the Blackhawks. Signed by the Oilers recently, his new contract promises him $3.75-million per season up until he’s 40.

Brodeur and Khabibulin are proven Stanley Cup Champions, while Kiprusoff and latest Vezina-trophy winner Thomas are considered elite goaltenders in the market today. It is, of course, unfair to make direct comparisons across these players, because the time of their contract negotiation differs, but we can get a general idea of where Luongo’s contract sits.

Brodeur is considered the best goaltender of our generation, and at the prime of his career, he only made $6.9-million per season. Kiprusoff’s latest contract covers 6 years until he’s 38 averages out to $5.8-million per season only, despite the $8-million paid in the first year. Khabibulin’s last contract of $6.75-million per season was a relatively short contract for only 4 years, so the price has been inflated slightly. Thomas, signed his new contract the year he was awarded the Vezina, and his four year contract only averages out to $5-million per season, but he is considered a late-bloomer.

Let’s take a look at one more player, goaltender for the latest Stanley Cup Champions, Marc-Andre Fleury, and we will see a much clearer picture. Fleury, 24, is slowly entering his prime, but he’s still relatively young, and his best years are still ahead of him. Fleury’s latest contract, signed in 2008, promised him $35-million for seven years, which is $5-million per season.

If we summarize all these stats, we will see that Luongo’s contract of $6.7-million per season for 9 years isn’t a pay-cut. He is and will be paid as a top goaltender in the league.

Of course, none of the above mentioned goaltenders are the captain of their team except for Luongo. With Vancouver so hungry for the Cup, the Canucks is still extremely fortunate to have such an elite player committing his career to.

So don’t be mistaken, I still think Gillis did a heck of a job with his sales pitch to lock down Luongo for good, and his Capologist did a great job minimizing the Cap hit for the team in the future. It was, perhaps, an even greater move by Gillis & Co. Public-Relationship-wise in creating an illusion of Luongo taking a pay-cut to stay in Vancouver.

Hopefully, after you’ve read this, you will have just a slightly clearer picture of why Luongo said he and his family is “thrilled” to have this contract extension.

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