Landmark contract keeps star goaltender an Islander for the rest of his career
The New York Islanders and goaltender Rick DiPietro have agreed to terms on a landmark, 15-year contract that will keep the franchise goaltender an Islander for the rest of his career.
DiPietro's salary for each year of the term will be $4.5 million. The former first overall selection in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft will turn 25 on September 19.
"In all of our discussions with Rick, he made it clear that he wanted to be an Islander for the rest of his career," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "But it was of equal importance to Rick that we work out a deal that would allow us to continue to build a Stanley Cup contender for years to come. This deal is great news for our franchise and our fans."
"I'm extremely appreciative of the commitment (Islanders owner) Charles Wang and Garth have made to me," said DiPietro, a Massachusetts native who now lives on Long Island year-round. "I won't let them, my coaches, my teammates or the fans down."
DiPietro is coming off a breakout season in 2005-06. He became the third goaltender in franchise history and the youngest to record 30 wins, finishing just two wins shy of the club record held by Bill Smith. DiPietro's 2005-06 record was 30-24-5 with a 3.02 GAA and a .900 save percentage. He also finished tied for sixth in the NHL in games played by a goaltender with 63 and was tied for eleventh in wins. In his four-year NHL career, DiPietro has played in 143 games with a record of 58-62-13, a 2.85 GAA and a .900 save percentage.
DiPietro represented the United States last winter at the Olympics in Torino. He started in four games and posted a goals-against average of 2.28 GAA. He was also a member of Team USA at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2001 World Junior Championships. In 2001-02, his second season of pro hockey, DiPietro led the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Islanders, to the Calder Cup Final.
Prior to his draft selection by the Islanders, DiPietro played for Boston University in 1999-2000. He finished with a record of 18-5-5, a 2.45 GAA and a .913 save percentage and was named Hockey East's Rookie of the Year. He was also named to their All-Rookie Team and Second All-Star Team. DiPietro is also an alumnus of the United States National Developmental Program, where he spent the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.