10 year deal.....12 year deal.....15 year deal.....17 year deal.
Which of these deals is related to the New York Islanders? Any and all would be the correct answer in a previous year—but not in 2010.
How many of you fans have come onto these boards and poked fun of, cried, and lamented about how pathetic our team owner—Charles Wang has become. And that lame brain Garth Snow for his dealings. Lets not forget about him. These huge contracts have destroyed the Islanders after all.
But have they—really?
It turns out, that Charlie broke some new ground when he signed Alexi Yashin to a 10 year contract.
Mike Richards of the Flyers—12 year contract.
Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals—13 year deal.
Nick Backstrom of the Capitals—10 year contract.
Vinny Lacavalier of the Lightning signed to a 12 year deal.
Roberto Luongo signed a 12 year contract with the Canucks.
Zetterberg got 12 years and Franzen received 11 years in Detroit.
Brian Campbell signed for 8 years in Chicago—which is short term considering Ducan Keith is a set for 12 seasons as is Marion Hossa.
And so we have Rick DePietro—a 15 year deal. Sure it is the longest of the bunch here—but if he can't play any more, we may yet get out of that one.
But that does little to compare to the New Jersey Devils now offering Kovalchuk a 17 year contract for $100 million. That tops the L.A. Kings offer of $100 million over 15 years.
If we go with the Kings deal, Kovalchuk will be playing hockey at age 42, and if we go with the Devils—he'll be 44.
Somehow—the Islanders are the only "wacky" team, with "wacky" contracts. We fans seem to want to jump up and down on the head of Charles Wang and Garth Snow—and I want to know if the fans from these other teams want to jump just as high, and land just as hard on their team's owner's head!
At the time, the Yashin deal made some sense. There was a feeling that Yashin would come in and generate the kind of numbers to warrant that kind of deal. It did not work out. We may never know if DePietro would have been worth the deal he signed. But the notion that somehow Charles Wang must be insane for offer these kinds of deals where a "much better owner and GM would never do such a thing..."
So does this mean that Dean Lombardi and the owner of the Kings are boobs?
How about Lou Lamerello? Is he now a bad GM?
Why a double standard for the Islanders and their owner?
What would all of the fans be saying if the NY Islanders came into Jay Grossman, the agent for Kovalchuck, and put an offical offer down of 10 years, $100 million. Same money as the other offers, but Kovalchuk would get that money in his pocket faster with the Isles, and have to play less years to earn it! Would all of the fans in Islander Country want the owners head?
My take—there are always going to be strange decisions and comments and contracts we don't like, and don't quite agree with. But it is not unique to the NY Islanders—as we can plainly see. Perhaps Yashin and DePietro were not worth it as compared to players like Lacavalier, Hossa, or Ovechkin. I don't think it was. But the idea that the Islanders are "crazy" and do things so unconventionally is inaccurate and should be viewed as a downright lie. Because if you want to label Charles Wang and Garth Snow as wacky and embarrassing for these kinds of wheelings and dealings—then one has to draw the conclusion, that so to are the other 29 GMs and owners in the NHL.
Not a single NHL player is "worth it." But in the world we live in, this is the price owners and GMs pay to keep the services of your favorite star players. In 2 more season, if John Tavares scores between 35 and 40 goals, and is signed to a 15 year contract at an average of $8 mil—are we going to suggest yet again that Charles has lost his mind?
We'll find out!