With the new title of president added to his portfolio, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis says he's closer to locking up his franchise player to a multi-year contract.
Gillis spoke to Vancouver's Team 1040 radio station about his new role after Chris Zimmerman resigned from the position and revealed that the Canucks are close to an extension agreement with Roberto Luongo - an deal that that should be completed by training camp.
"I think philosophically we're very close and I think to get top players signed it usually does take a longer period of time," Gillis told the station on Tuesday. "We've had a lot of stuff happen in the meantime. We were moving really well and then we had the draft and free-agency and some other distractions occurred. But we feel really confident that we're all on the same page and it's only a matter of everyone getting focussed on the final part of it to get it done. We intend to (get it done before the season). We hope to. I know Laurence (Gilman) has had some discussions with Roberto's agent as early as yesterday. We're getting there and we're confident that we'll get something done."
Luongo, 30 is entering the final year of a four-year, $27 million contract. He is coming off a 2008-09 campaign where he posted a 33-13-7 record with nine shutouts and a 2.34 goals-against average.
Reports earlier this summer speculated that Luongo and his agent, Gilles Lupien, are asking for a long-term deal that would be at least five years in length worth a minimum of $8 million per season.
Luongo will earn $7.5 million next season, with the Canucks taking a cap hit of $6.75 million in the final year of his current deal.
Written with files from the Team 1040 Radio and CTV Vancouver.