On September 13th, 2006, ESPN.com first reported that the New York Islanders locked up goaltender Rick Dipietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million deal [DiPietro’s record 15-year deal will pay him $67.5M]. The contract will allow the Islanders to keep DiPietro until just before he reaches 40 years old. A lot of media outlets have run stories on the deal. The question remains: is it a ridiculous contract for both sides, did the Islanders make a smart decision, did DiPietro do what was best for himself, or did both sides win?
The Islanders have a $44 million maximum payroll. DiPietro’s cut will take up $4.5 million each season over the next 15 years. It may look like the Islanders are shelling a lot of money out for him, but DiPietro will only be the 8th highest-paid goalie, and one must assume that he will drop relatively if maximum payrolls ever increase. If DiPietro is an elite player, it seems as though his roughly 1/10th cut of the payroll may not be an overvaluation. In addition, if maximum payrolls increase in the future, his cut would turn out to be a smaller percentage of the pie.
Scott Burnside of ESPN.om believes that the Islanders made a huge mistake by agreeing to a 15-year contract [Islanders make another senseless deal]. He believes that DiPietro is far from an elite player, and actually is not very good at all. 15 years for an average player may not make so much sense after all. But maybe the Islanders believe that there is huge upside to DiPietro and wanted to lock him up at a fairly cheap price compared to what he may be worth in the near future.
A SportsNation Poll shows that only 7.1% of respondents think that the Islanders made a good move and most people think that they length of the deal makes least sense. Public perception on contractual issues definitely matters. The Islanders only remain profitable as long as fans exist to attend games, buy merchandise, etc. Whether it is truly a good deal or not, if fans start jumping ship, the Islanders may end up being the losers by signing the contract.
The contract is guaranteed and if DiPietro has to retire because of an injury, he will be paid in full. If he retires for any other reason, the remaining money left on the contract will be forfeited.
There apparently is an issue with the deal that has been left unresolved, and the contract may be voided by the NHL [NHL May Not Approve DiPietro Deal]. Looking at NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly’s comments, it seems as though the deal will go through [Islanders sign DiPietro to 15-year deal]. DiPietro is going to kill Patrik Elias’s record deal length of 7-years, $42 million, and apparently, a Sports Agent believes that its a good deal for DiPietro [Islanders Sign Goalie Through the Year 2022].
What are your thoughts on the contract?