On Friday, the Islanders offered goalie Rick DiPietro a wowing 15-year, $67.5 million contract, according to New York Newsday.
However, the newspaper claims the offer never got past the negotiation stage because of astronomical insurance premiums, most of which would have to be borne by DiPietro. The NHL insures only up to five years on a contract; the rest is up to the player.
"Oh, man, it was an exciting offer," DiPietro told Newsday. "And it would have put me where I want to be for 15 years.
"We were ready to (accept it)," DiPietro said. "It's kind of disappointing we couldn't, but it felt good to know they - Charles [Wang] and Mike [Milbury] - were ready to make that kind of commitment."
The paper suggests a more conventional deal would have a term of three to five years.
And really, everyone should consider themselves incredibly fortunate that this didn't pan out. I'm actually shocked by the level of enthusiasm being voiced by both camps over this failed deal; on the Islanders side of things, you're overpaying DiPietro at $4.5 mil for the next few years in the hopes that he'll eventually become a player who's worth the money (though I do think the guy is a blue-chip prospect, there are many different shades of blue, and I just don't see him as a future Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur... more like a future Sean Burke or Bill Ranford: dependable, good for the starting role on a middling team, but far from elite). And that said, it's entirely possible that DiPietro won't pan out at all, making him overpaid right now and later on, as well as next to impossible to trade. The Isles' only option would have been buyout. In fact, a buyout would almost be guaranteed by a deal this long. Dumb.
On DiPietro's end, how could he possibly think it would to advantageous to take himself out of the market for the entirety of his hockey career (especially considering how much things could change in that time, with the current CBA expires in only six years)? And Jesus, does he really want to spend the rest of his life playing for the Islanders? One would think it would be pretty hard to get excited about the long term of a club whose top prospect is Petteri Nokelainen, according to the most recent Hockey's Future evaluation.