The Vancouver Canucks and goaltender Roberto Luongo are under a Sept. 13 deadline to agree to new contract terms. Luongo, who is attending Hockey Canada's summer orientation camp for 2010 Olympic hopefuls, said he will not negotiate once the NHL team's training camp begins at the University of British Columbia next month. He said he is unwilling to let his expiring contract become a daily distraction.
"We're trying to get it done before camp," Luongo said in Calgary yesterday. "If it doesn't happen before camp, I will not be negotiating during the season. I don't want to have that distraction."
Yesterday, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said a contract extension is not finished, but he is confident the sides will arrive at terms over the next 18 days.
"I'd prefer that we have it wrapped up [by camp]" Gillis said. "We're all confident that we're moving in the right direction."
Gillis and Luongo denied reports yesterday that said the sides had agreed to a six-year pact worth $6.5-million (U.S.) a season. Luongo, 30, is entering the final year of his current deal, and is to earn $7.5-million.