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Tuesday, September 12, 2021

no man an island

That’s the only explanation I can fathom for the New York Islanders signing goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5-million contract today. I mean, I blamed the heat this past summer, when Isles owner Charles Wang decided to make the general manager job an entry-level position by firing Neil Smith and installing Garth Snow. So I’m sticking with that factor. Wang should go see a doctor, already. Then again, the ambulance should be coming for him, soon enough.

The deal’s being ridiculed, as expected. Amid the insults, the basic drawback:

‘’DiPietro’s an Islander for life because they’re never moving that contract,'’ said a Western Conference GM. ‘’You can say it’s only 4.5 but it’s 4.5 until the cows come home. Obviously if he plays at a high level they’ve got themselves a bargain I guess but if he doesn’t, you have him on the books for a lifetime.

‘’Is he one of the 10 best goalies in the league today? I would say no right now,'’ he added. ‘’Unless his career is ready to take a big step forward, you’ve yourself an average goalie for $4.5 million a year. And you’ve got him for the rest of your life and Yashin [who signed a 10-year, $87.5-million contract in 2001] for the rest of your life. Geez.'’

And that’s what it comes down to: This contract is, effectively, a lifetime prison sentence, I’d say for both sides. The money’s guaranteed, even if DiPietro retires before 2021(!). As long as DiPietro is playing, he’s on Long Island. Regardless of how good or bad he turns out to be, he’s not going anywhere, whether he wants to or not (apparently, the current CBA prohibits contract renegotiations). What happens when his skills inevitably erode, and the team faces the prospect of keeping a $4.5-million backup on the roster? Fun times ahead in Nassau (or wherever the team ends up).

I might opine that, if Wang were hell-bent on doing this, he could have opted for the goalie they traded away to make room for DiPietro. Roberto Luongo was the prior Isles goalie of the future. His career hasn’t exactly been a thrill — now on his third team, and never having posted a winning record — but his skills are on a level clearly above DiPietro’s. I don’t think a 15-year lockdown for Luongo makes any more sense than it would for any player, but at least then, you could cite more potential.

I’m glad I chose the Rangers as my team when I was a kid…

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/12/2021 07:05:39 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink |

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  1. As a lifetime Ranger fan, I can only laugh. Even if he has a few Billy Smith seasons, this has got to go down as one of the worst deals in NHL history. Who knows maybe someday we’ll see him on Antique Roadshow.

    Please grab and do a post about an H&H poppy bagel with lox spread so I can vicariously taste one.

    Comment by tiny — 09/15/2006 @ 02:18:43 AM

  2. I tried to keep my Rangers allegiances from shining through in this post. The Isles will definitely end up sucking hard this season, but typically, they’ll win five or six games versus the Blueshirts…

    Comment by CT — 09/16/2006 @ 03:58:50 PM

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