Rick DiPietro’s Hips Don’t Lie

On September 19th of 2006, I was a little shocked to hear that the New York Islanders signed their goalie, Rick DiPietro, to a 15-year deal that would pay him $67.5 million over the duration of the contract. It made DiPietro the 8th highest paid goalie at the time, and locked him up in New York for the rest of his career. People saying that it was a weird deal considering that DiPietro is average at best. Now, it seems like the Islanders really may be rethinking the move.

DiPietro is scheduled to have season-ending hip surgery for the second year in a row. Last year, it was the left hip. This year, the right. That makes the first two seasons of his whopping contract shortened due to injury. The important point that the recent ESPN article left out is that 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. At this point, it looks like DiPietro is an injury basket case and may cost the Islanders a lot of money if his career is short lived.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

One reply on “Rick DiPietro’s Hips Don’t Lie”

If he retires due to injury insurance pays for it, so it’s net?et no worries for the isles.

The question is how bad a cap hit they take if and when he retires. I forget the structure, but IIRC the remainder accelerates for half the life of the remainder of the contract.

That would mean a $6mm hit or so, then going down to $3mm after a while.

For better info go to James Mirtle’s blog and look for salary cap tags

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