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NEW HYDE PARK, NY • 37 Years Old • Male
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!
July 10, 2010 8:04 PM ET | Delete
I might be mistaken but aren't the Isles deals the same dollars every year of the deal? The reason these other deals are long is because they are designed to circumvent the cap. It's pretty clear the players will retire when they start making 4th line grinder money.
July 10, 2010 8:26 PM ET | Delete
Even if they retire after 10 years, wouldnt the cap hit still be there?
July 10, 2010 8:29 PM ET | Delete
Not if the contract was signed before they turned 35.
July 11, 2010 1:59 AM ET | Delete
whats funny is this. if the isles and devils offered the same deal in two different scenarios, what would happen? devils would be praised for having such a smart idea of having a super low cap hit and a high salary fully knowing that he would retire early but if it were the isles it would be stupid and dumb and wacky and "typical wang"
July 11, 2010 11:43 PM ET | Delete
July 12, 2010 8:06 PM ET | Delete
Either way these contracts are brutal and have a tremendous amount of potential to blow up in peoples faces. Kinda hope whenever the next CBA gets ammended the league finds a way of capping these stupid contracts. Maybe use the cap floor as some leverage.
July 16, 2010 5:44 PM ET | Delete
the only real way to get rid of these contracts is if they retire right? what if he get hurt? it would be virtually impossible to trade a player with that kind of contract i would think. something will happen that screws at least one team.
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