Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Rick DiPietro bought out by the Islanders, or, "Why am I punching myself?"

So the Islanders will use an amnesty buyout on Rick DiPietro, and extricate themselves from that monstrous contract.

A few fans assail Canadiens management for paying Carey Price as a franchise goalie and star before he's proven anything.  If that is a justified critique of the Canadiens' approach, then it is even more so for the Islanders and Rick DiPietro.

The greater fault of the Islanders was how aggressive they were, they foisted this contract on themselves.  They got way ahead of the curve, deemed Mr. DiPietro a can't miss star, since they'd drafted him first overall anyway, and paid him for what they thought he would become.  His contract was not the norm, what the market deemed necessary at the time.

I'll always remember the abysmal Charles Wang, acting like the 'smartest guy in the room', being all smug at the press conference announcing the contract, lecturing reporters on how he was bringing business principles to the hockey world, and talking about amortization and depreciation and other buzzwords.

The thing is, this contract was harebrained from the start.  It seemed like it would either be an anchor on the team, or that Mr. DiPietro would be criminally underpaid during his peak seasons and might rankle at that fact, wishing for a renegotiation but unable to do so.  The chance that it would fall in the Goldilocks zone, that it wouldn't be too much or too little compensation, was relatively slight.

So the Islanders wear this one.  It's not like the Lightning, who were desperate to retain a franchise star in Vincent Lecavalier, and tried to pay what they thought was market rates for an elite player who was nearing unrestricted free agency.  In effect, the Islanders built a bear trap, and then deliberately stepped in it, thinking since it was their own design it wouldn't bite them.

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