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Report: Isles will ‘try to make it worthwhile’ to take DiPietro

Jun 4, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT

Rick DiPietro Getty Images

Interesting note here from the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman in his “30 thoughts” column:

Here’s what the New York Islanders are doing with Rick DiPietro. They are letting teams know that if they are interested in taking the goalie’s contract off their hands, they will try to make it worthwhile. They’ll consider taking a bad contract in return, maybe even a draft pick (or picks) or prospects. Still, it won’t be easy. “That will have to be one heck of an asset,” said another GM. A buyout now would have DiPietro on your books until 2029.

Last week, TSN’s Bob McKenzie floated a potential trade involving the Canucks, who would send the Isles goalie Roberto Luongo in return for DiPietro (on whom the Canucks would use one of their compliance buyouts, with no cap penalty) and, of course, something to make it worthwhile on Vancouver’s end. (Nino Niederreiter is one name that pops to mind.)

That’s just one idea, and it’s not clear if either side is seriously considering it. But for rich clubs that are willing to flex their financial muscle, the DiPietro situation may offer an opportunity to “buy” something from the budget-conscious Islanders.

Per CapGeek, a DiPietro buyout would cost $24 million spread over 16 years.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    The Vancouver situation is really intriguing.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      And they could actually use Luongo as well. But how much are they willing to sweeten the pot to make that deal: their 1st, Neiderreiter and deHaan? The first two and a lesser pick or prospect? If they’re thinking one out of three and maybe some secondary piece, then they’ll have trouble making a deal happen.

      • mattymarts17 - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        As an Isles fan I’m also intrigued by Luongo coming back to the island. However, your suggestion of a first, Nino, and de Hann is entirely too steep. I know de Hann isn’t the prospect he once was but that’s an awful lot to give up for a player the Canucks are trying to move away from. It’s also important to note if the Canucks buyout Luongo it would cost slightly more over I think 2 extra years.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        When you consider the player and contract the Islanders are trying to move away from – one that isn’t even suitable for using on an NHL roster at this point – I think the additional pieces that come along with him have to be pretty decent. An immediate $24M buyout player coming to Vancouver in the trade is a lot of negative value.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        There’s a big difference between the Islanders wanting Luongo and the Canucks wanting everything else but DiPietro. You’ve got to sell teams on taking him somehow, and if you’re getting an upgrade in net in the process then you have to give even more back.

  2. gospitfires - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    there is a rule i must be missing if somebody can fill me in, why is it that the article states vancouver could buy out Dipeitro if there traded for him with no cap hit, using a compliance buyout, but the islanders if they were to buy him out have that 24 million to spread over 16 years. traded players dont count?

    • 19to77 - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      It’s not quite like that. The Isles can buy RDP out as well, and also with no cap penalty – but it’s much easier for a wealthier team like Vancouver to stomach paying millions for a man to not play than it is for the lower-income Isles franchise. They both have to pay him, and they both get away with no cap penalty – but the Isles would definitely prefer to spend their money on roster players. Vancouver can afford it more easily.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Or rather not spend the money and keep the cap hit like they did with Tim Thomas. The compliance buyout is the opposite of what’s helpful to NYI but they don’t want to keep him, have him not play and spend the money either.

      • skyjack7 - Jun 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        Canucks owners, heard over the radio that it was said that they don’t want to buyout ANY players at all, not even Keith Ballard whom many speculated would be the first compliance buyout, they want him traded instead.

        With that it’s extremely highly unlikely that will even consider buying out DiPietro.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        @skyjack7: wouldn’t you trade a player instead of buying him out if you could too? If they can’t do that, then they’ll put Ballard on waivers. If he’s not picked up there, then the last option is a buyout, so they’ll try the other steps first for sure.

        Can you see any scenario where DiPietro is traded or picked up off waivers on his merits as a goalie, even without his current contract?

      • bcisleman - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Skyjack: Isles may be their only real option other than Philly if they want to trade Luongo. I can guarantee you Isles won’t take on Luongo’s ontract unless the Nucks take RDP back. The only other option as I see it is to trade Luongo to PHI probably for Briere. That won’t help “retool” VAN or with the cap issue. If VAN really wants to move Luongo, they probably have to eat RDP’s contract. If they throw in Booth or Ballard, maybe Nino becomes possible.

      • skyjack7 - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:35 PM


        I admittingly never seen him play in years since he was a rising star, but DiPietro at this point would be given the Redden treatment, if he were a UFA this offseason he’d be given a one year contract for a million to prove himself.

        In a transaction deal (unlikely, due to injuries and length of contract), I can only see a team take RDP on as a backup goalie and only pay him about $1.5M – $2M tops per season with NYI paying the rest of his salary. However the more NYI gives in valuable players/prospects/picks the less salary they’ll pay.

        I think RDP now has the current most atrocious contract in the NHL, one of the worst in NHL history…only due to injuries of course, but this gives proof how horrid and risky long term contracts are.

      • herenicus - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        Canucks ownership is mega rich, and I’m thinking matbe their suggestion that they won’t buy out players is just management’s attempt to create some trade value in hopes of first working something better out.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        @skyjack7: with 9 years and $40.5M left on his contract I can’t see any situation where the Isles retain cap (which comes along with an equal % of salary don’t forget) in a DiPietro trade. They either keep him or he’s traded to another team to buyout.

        And you’re right, it is a terrible contract and one of the worst ever considering the amount of value they’ve gotten back from DiPietro. If he could play then the Isles wouldn’t be in the situation they are.

        That’s the bonus of Luongo, he can still be the starter on a number of NHL teams and I think will still be in the mix for the starting job on Team Canada at the Olympics. Even with the term of his contract, the cap hit is good and he’s absolutely a functional goalie that can help a team win games.

    • skyjack7 - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:24 PM


      Teams who could use Luongo’s durable healthy services include nyi, philly, florida with a long shots in Toronto cause of Reimer, could still be interested and with the pens playing putrid they may be in the mix now.

      Funnily enough the two teams who need Luongo the most have to get rid of their bad contracts first in RDP and Bryz.

  3. jpelle82 - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    didnt the isles sign tim thomas so they could stay at the cap floor? why would they want to buy out rdp when they can keep them at the minimum salary cap and keep waving bye bye to good players like streit?

    • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Because with Tim Thomas they suspended him for failing to report and didn’t have to pay him. That let them use his cap hit to reach the cap floor but not spend any real money.

      There’s also the fact they actually need a goalie. Nabby was good for them but had some trouble in the playoffs and is 40. They might re-sign him still but they need to improve in net if they want to make a bigger impact in the playoffs next year.

  4. buddysguys - Jun 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    i wouldnt take that contract unless it involved 1st rd picks until 2019

    • rockyspond - Jun 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Hmmm…let’s see. The Isles are desperate to unload Ricky D. and would take back a bad contract. As an Oiler fan, i would send them Horcoff (2 years at $5.5) plus Peckham (pending RFA) and a 3rd (late 2nd?) rounder (or a prospect off the farm) and possibly another asset for Ricky and their 1st and 2nd. And for the Horcoff haters out there, if his salary was $3mm no way would i give so much in this trade. A good 3rd line center, sound defensively and in the faceoff circle, strong on PK and useful on 2nd PP unit, and a leader in the locker room. Whether Katz keeps Ricky for 1 year as backup to Dubnyk or uses the compliance buyout this year is moot. This trade would give us the assets to potentially move into the top 5 in the draft which is the only reason i’d do it.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        Oilers fans everywhere are happy you aren’t their GM.

      • ray2013 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:21 AM

        It’s already been reported by the Edmonton media that they aren’t going to get rid of Horcoff, simply because the Oilers don’t have the center depth to trade him. At best, he could get traded next season, when someone might want his expiring contract.

        With the depth at the top of this draft, I doubt they’re going to move up. 7th still gives a pretty solid prospect.

      • The Scarecrow - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        RDP is going to be bought out one way or the other (unless the Isles are forced to bury him in the minors). Oilers ownership can’t afford to do it. Vancouver is an obvious trading partner. The only problem is that despite the Aquilinis being loaded, they seem very reluctant to waste money on buyouts. Gillis may have to get down on his knees and service the account if this deal gets done between Van and NYI.

      • The Scarecrow - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        The Oilers can’t afford to buy out DP, or trade for any high priced player unless he’s on the roster. In terms of finances, they’re as likely to trade for and buy out DP as Winnipeg is. They just don’t have the cash to throw around.

  5. axisofweasels - Jun 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    trade him to the penguins. they need a goaltender bad right now — any goaltender

  6. bcisleman - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I do not know if there is ANY truth to this story. I hope there is not. It would be absolutely assinine to trade away valuable assets to avoid paying RDP. Trading away Nino for that purpose would be totally insane.

    • skyjack7 - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Yeah Wang is going to have to buyout Rick DiPietro, he has to pay for that mistake, 15 year – $67.5M contract??? sheesh.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      When you have as little cash to run an NHL franchise as the Islanders do (relatively speaking) then avoiding paying DiPietro a $24M buyout or the $40.5M remaining on his salary is an asset in itself. It’s not like he’s going to retire with that contract running for another 9 years.

      The Isles may not have cash in surplus, but they do have more assets than they can use right now so it’s at least a smart business decision even if it’s not a good hockey one.

      • bcisleman - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        The days of top 5 picks are likely over for the Isles. They simply cannot afford to let Nino go.

      • elvispocomo - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Who’s in the top 6 on the RW for the Isles right now? Grabner and Okposo, or have they used anyone else as well? Maybe one of them will slide down to make room for Neiderreiter, but the rumours of Nino’s discontent aren’t based on nothing even if he isn’t redundant. The Isles have a fair number of centers and D coming up if Nino really is off the table so there’s certainly assets they can use to sweeten the pot regardless.

  7. rockyspond - Jun 4, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    So Elvis, you’re saying you wouldn’t trade Horcoff + Peckham + 1 or 2 3rd round picks for the isles 1st and 2nd? That’s what my proposed trade would amount to.
    Because paying RDP $24mm over 16 years seems to be the prime motivator for the Isles, but would amount to pocket lint for Katz.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      First off, why do the Isles even need another center (or an RFA D-man)? They have Tavares and Neilsen at least as well as Cizikas, Bailey, Nelson, Strome, Lee, etc for depth that is ready or nearly ready up the middle.

      Secondly, no GM – no matter how much money he has – would take on a $24M buyout without getting something back. If Katz was that rich, why would he need Albertan taxpayers to help fund his new arena ideas? Instead of holding out and risking Edmonton losing the Oilers he could have negotiated to at least move $24M closer to what the province was asking if he could afford to buyout DiPietro on a whim.

      Then the assets you are moving aren’t very useful for the Isles. If they got players they could put into their roster where they have holes, like with a Luongo deal, they’d be much more likely to accept. Granted, if they got offered nothing else to get a DiPietro buyout then maybe the Isles would think about it, but they’d probably try one more year to see what they can get for him next summer.

  8. r8rbhawk - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I know RDP caught hell for his being waived/suicide comments/being chased from his first AHL startt, but he actually played decent for Bridgeport. He ended up going 9-9 and posted a shutout. His near 3 GAA and .893 sv pct aren’t stellar but are better than most expected. Maybe he CAN make a comeback

  9. steve8893 - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    This trade make perfect sense, but the islanders better hold there ground and not do anything stupid. These teams both need each other , I don’t think there really is any other options. Nino better be playing for the islanders next year, or traded for a winger to help Tavares.

  10. The Scarecrow - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Vancouver may make the most sense on paper, but the Aquilinis are stingy. You don’t get filthy rich like they are by throwing cash away. If a deal goes down, forget prospects and picks – Gillis will have to present a deal that blows the senior Aquilini’s, er, mind.

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