A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How did I miss this insanity?

I'm not sure how I missed this nugget of insanity, but it was brought to my attention by Steven Ovadia's post over at Puck Update.

The Islanders offered a 15 year deal to Rick DiPietro?! They are definitely insane. Of course, we already knew this. That was made clear when they signed Alexei Yashin to a 10-year, $90M deal back in 2001. They offered Michael Peca a similar deal, but he had the sense to reject it. You see, the NHL will only cover insurance costs for the first five years of a contract and the player is responsible for the balance. Yashin is in the last year of his "free" coverage and will find an incredible financial burden on his shoulders. DiPietro never seriously considered the 15 year deal for that very reason. Quite frankly, Yashin is a bit of an albatross around the neck of the Islanders. He hasn't quite performed up to expectations. In 206 games with the Isles, he's scored 73 goals and added 101 helpers for a total of 174 points. His salary this year will be $7.6M. Doesn't quite fit together does it? My understanding of this is that the contract cannot be re-negotiated. In this case (underperformance), the Islanders have really set themselves up for disaster vis-a-vis Yashin. He's untradable -- no team would be interested in picking up the rest of that contract, and they have no way out.
Now... what were they thinking when they made the DiPietro offer? Were they even serious with that, or were they just trying to make a point? Seriously... What were they thinking? 15 years for a total of $67.5M. That's just plain loopy. Why on earth would you pay a goalie that kind of money in the first place? And then tell him that he's on his own for medical insurance after five years?

The conversation might have gone something like this:

Charles Wang: Hey, Rick. We really want you to be a part of the future of this organization.
Rick DiPietro: Great! I'd like to be a part of this team for a long time.
CW : So, here's what we're thinking... We're prepared to offer you sixty seven and a half million dollars for (mumbles) fifteen years.
RD : What's that? Did you just say fifteen years?
CW : (Nods. Grins. Extends pen and thick contract). Yeah. Here's the, you know, contract. It's just your standard party of the first part and a bunch of heretofore and pursuant to stuff. It's all good.
RD : What's the catch?
CW : Catch? There's no catch. We love you and we want you here for a very long time.
RD : There has to be a catch. Like I have to give up my firstborn or something like that. That's a lot of dough, and I'm just a goalie.
CW : Oh. Well... There's the insurance thing. In seasons six through fifteen of this contract, you would have to pay your own insurance. The league dictates that.
RD : This conversation is over.

Something tells me that they were actually serious with this. I don't understand it one bit, but they must have been serious.

Any Islanders fans out there? Please help me to understand why Charles Wang likes to offer these ridiculously long contracts.

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