Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well Isle Be Damned...

LATE BREAKING NEWS!!! - We have just received word that the New York Islanders (never a good way to start a story off) have gone and done it again. We hope you are sitting down for this one, or at least leaning against a wall or something, because even as stupid Islander moves go, this one is bad.

Ok, so here it is. Rick DiPietro, you remember him? The Isles' first over all pick a few years ago? Decent goalie? Well, maybe a little shaky? Yeah, him. Well, he signed a new contract with them today. It was... um, quite the contract.

They signed him for fifteen, FIFTEEN (!!!fifteen!!!), freaking years. That's a one and a five folks. Three times five gives you fifteen as well as the stupidest contract ever put down on paper. To reiterate, they signed DiPietro for fifteen years. What the fuck. Really, what do you say to that? Just, what the fuck. Our first reaction was to break out in tears. That is singularly the worst idea ever put forward in the history of not only the NHL, but all of pro sports.

Not coincidentally it was done by the New York Islanders, and more specifically, their owner cum whackjob Charles Wang, who seems to have as much hockey sense as a dead beagle. This deal is just such an exceptionally, mindboggingly horrible idea that it defies description. How many different ways can we write "what the fuck"?

Let's try to break this down. Let's start at the top. The New York Islanders, we're told at least, reeled off four straight Stanley Cups way back in the day. This is not that team. This team hasn't won a playoff series in more than a decade. It has been saddled with an incompetent GM for the past forever in Mike Millbury.

A laundry list of his offences: Signed Alexei Yashin to the (formerly) worst contract ever, chaining him up for ten years. We're not even halfway through that yet. He let players like Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Dany Heatly, Marian Gaborik slip away. He drafted DiPietro first over all in 2000, a vote of confidence, absurd 15 year contracts to the contrary, that he has yet to live up to.

So they scrapped Millbury this summer. About time they said. This guy made Isaiah Thomas look like a freaking genius. Ah, but the ride didn't stop there. The team then went about finding a replacement at both coaching and GM positions. Except they hired both independently of each other. Forget letting the new GM build the team the way he wants it, Wang went and found a coach by himself.

They ended up with Ted Nolan and Neil Smith, neither of whom had seen any NHL action in more than a few winters. Ok, whatever, the important thing is that Mad Mike is gone. Let's get this show on the road.

Except that wasn't it. Forty days later and Smith was gone from the GM's office. He did the draft, signed the free agents and then was out the door, nice ta meet cha Neil, don't let the door hit you on the way out. His replacement was even better though. Wang didn't look far. In fact, he didn't look past the dressing room, plucking DiPietro's backup, Garth Snow off the ice and placing him in the GM's chair. Ok, ok, not the worst thing in the world. Sure, Snow has no experience with that side of the game, but hey, you have to start somewhere, right?

Wrong. So, so wrong.

Then this doozy slips out. What the fuck is wrong with these people? Please, pardon our French, but there's no other way of saying this. This is nothing against DiPietro personally. He's a decent goalie, nothing special, or at least not yet. Wang obviously thinks he's going to turn into some sort of puck stopping dynamo, and here's hoping he's right. But seriously, there are virtually no scenarios where this deal works out over the long run. Fifteen year (fifteen years!) is too long to be making predictions.

Let's make this clear, no player is worth a fifteen year contract. That's a recipe for disaster. Long term deals are bad for both parties. Let's look at Yashin's deal. Yashin is saddled with the most (or, second most now) untradable contract ever. His slumping production has turned him into magnet for criticism, and his reputation has suffered greatly since heading to Long Island.

It only took a year or two for people to realise just how monumentally bad an idea Yashin's contract was. What if DiPietro, who, unlike Yashin, has yet to do anything to remotely justify this payout, bombs early and often? Yashin's contract is dragging on already, and it's only on it's fifth year.

This will end badly for everybody. And one more time, what the fuck?!



walkinvisible said...

i, too, said "what the fuck". here's my take:


i couldn't post it on my 'real' blog. my mum reads that shit. :)

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