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Thursday, June 29, 2006
Luongo signs four-year, $27 million deal with Canucks

Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Goaltender Roberto Luongo signed a $27 million, four-year deal with the Canucks on Thursday, less than a week after he was acquired in a trade from Florida.

Vancouver Canucks

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"Roberto has proven himself to be an elite goaltender," Vancouver general manager Dave Nonis said in a statement. "His international experience, Vezina Trophy nomination and ability to consistently play at the highest level are tremendous assets that we believe will make the Vancouver Canucks competitive each and every night."

The new deal will pay Luongo $6 million in the first year, $6.5 million in the second year, $7 million in the third year, and $7.5 million in the final year. The contract also contains a no-trade clause for the final three years.

Luongo becomes the highest-paid player on the Canucks, ahead of captain Markus Naslund, who has a $6 million salary.

The Canucks acquired the restricted free agent from the Panthers last weekend, sending winger Todd Bertuzzi to Florida.

Luongo was dealt by the Panthers after contentious contract talks, but it took Nonis a matter of days to do what Florida was unable to do for well over a year.

The 27-year-old Montreal native is among the elite goalies in the NHL, although he hasn't been in the playoffs after stints with the Panthers and New York Islanders.

Luongo was 35-30-9 last season with a 2.97 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and four shutouts. Luongo has played a total of 341 NHL games, posting a record of 115-168-41, a 2.72 GAA and a save percentage of .919.

He was also part of Canada's Olympic team in Torino and won gold medals when he starred for Team Canada at the 2003 and 2004 world championships.