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[NHL] Long Island lunacy


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Long Island lunacy

In signing goaltender Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5-million contract, has Islander owner Charles Wang lost his mind?

TIM WHARNSBY

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

The wild ride the New York Islanders have endured since owner Charles Wang bought the National Hockey League franchise took an even wackier turn Tuesday when goaltender Rick DiPietro was signed to an unprecedented $15-year, $67.5-million contract.

The colossal deal angered opposing club executives, who refused to comment on the record, but who called the controversial Islanders owner ?a moron? and ?insane.? But a couple of general managers suggested that if DiPietro does become a top goalie, he would be underpaid.

Fellow players, of course, lauded DiPietro's deal.

?I think it's a great deal for Ricky,? Edmonton Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson said. ?It's not very often that you can lock in for 15 years. With the way the NHL is, with guaranteed contracts, he's guaranteed that money until he's 40 years old. It's a great deal. GoDiPietro, a former first overall draft pick who has played only 143 NHL games and never won a playoff series, will turn 25 on Tuesday and will see this contract expire after the 2020-21 season, a few months shy of his 40th birthday.th birthday.

Although the public reaction from the league office was wait and see as to whether the deal was good or bad for the NHL, other sources privately hinted that commissioner Gary Bettman was not pleased.

There was speculation that the league did not approve a similar 15-year, $60-million deal last summer because, among other reasons, it didn't like the long term and because there were problems of insuring a contract of that length. But NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied that the league put the kibosh on a deal last year.

?We never would tell a club that they can't do something that is permissible under the [collective labour agreement],? Daly said.

?Clubs are free to make their own decisions within the confines laid out in the collective agreement and other applicable league rules. Some decisions turn out well, others not so well. Time will tell whether this will be a good decision or a bad one for the Islanders.?

Under terms of the labour agreement, however, clubs can buy out a contract at any time for two-thirds of the total deal.

This is not only the longest contract in league history, but more than double the longest deal doled out since the new agreement was put in place last summer. New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias signed a seven-year deal last July.

Wang was asked why he didn't sign the goalie to a shorter-term contract. ?Why not 15?? he replied. ?Why five or seven??

Wang was also asked why he would make this decision, given his experience with the 10-year, $87.5-million contract he gave to Alexei Yashin in 2001. But Wang disputed that he hasn't received full value for the Yashin deal.

DiPietro and the Islanders began discussing a deal this summer, even as far back as Neil Smith's brief stint as the general manager and continuing with Wang and the new GM, former backup goalie Garth Snow. The two sides talked about contracts at various lengths, including deals for one, five, eight, 12 and 15 years.

The contract will pay DiPietro $4.5-million a season, tying him with Roloson as the ninth best-paid goalie in the league. Nikolai Khabibulin leads the way at $6.75-million.

But what happens if DiPietro finds his game and becomes comparable with Martin Brodeur ($5.2-million) and Roberto Luongo ($6-million), considered two of the game's best? Or what happens if the marketplace drastically improves? Will he still be pleased with his deal?

?With a long-term deal, you're speculating what you'll be worth and what you'll be making,? DiPietro said. ?I don't think that player salaries are going to go up that much more. I mean, how much higher can they go??

?It was Rick's desire to remain an Islander all his life,? added Paul Krepelka, DiPietro's Boston-based agent. ?This contract not only ensures that, but also puts a cap on his salary to enable the team to build a supporting cast around him.

?We had a long talk about the ramifications about signing a deal of this length. He understands and is comfortable with the deal. He wanted the tradeoff for a lifetime of security. He knows the downside and felt it was a risk worth taking.?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...ory/Sports/home

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Wang is an idiot. 15 years? Dipietro is 25, hasn't established himself and he's making $4.5M for the next 15years? He will have no motivation. It's like winning the lottery, then being a lazy ass, sitting at home all day!

Whats worse is that they are having the most difficult time unloading Yashin, which they never will after signing him to a 10yr $87M. Didn't Brett Lindros have a multi-multi year deal too?

NY Islanders have to be the worst managed team in all of sports. It's amazing how Wang's company is even sucessful.

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15 Years is an awful long time and $67.5 million is a hell of a lot, if it was someone like Kipprusoff (sp?) of Brodeur or someone like that then i can kind of understand that. Lets hope for the isles sake he turns out to be a real all-star goalie.

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Wasn't this reported a long, long time ago? Did he just now sign it or something?

You must hang around on those hockey rumour sites.

Y'know the ones that say Toronto is going to trade Nik Antropov for Marcus Naslund or something. :p

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You must hang around on those hockey rumour sites.

Y'know the ones that say Toronto is going to trade Nik Antropov for Marcus Naslund or something. :p

No, I'm being serious. I thought there was already something about how DiPietro was signed for an insane contract length earlier. Somelike like 10-15 years if I remember correctly, which is why I thought of this. It was about a year ago. Look it up.

EDIT: Looked it up... it was when Wang was saying he and DiPietro were talking about signing a contract for this long. He never actually signed and it wasn't an official deal, just talks.

Edited by Ayepecks
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Charles Wang believes that it is an excellent business move. He had talked about this a few years ago. But with the Milbury escapades and the hiring of the backup goaltender as General Manager, this seems less shocking than it should.

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No, I'm being serious. I thought there was already something about how DiPietro was signed for an insane contract length earlier. Somelike like 10-15 years if I remember correctly, which is why I thought of this. It was about a year ago. Look it up.

EDIT: Looked it up... it was when Wang was saying he and DiPietro were talking about signing a contract for this long. He never actually signed and it wasn't an official deal, just talks.

Earlier in the season there were rumors floating around of a possible $60M 15yr deal for Dipietro

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