Isles don't learn from their past

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

This had to be a joke; I simply could not believe my ears!

When I heard the voice of Nick Kypreos on the radio telling me that New York Islander Rick DiPietro had just signed a $67.5 million US 15-year contract, I nearly drove off of the road.

The scoop was on the FAN 590 (kudos) with Nick calling it very early in the morning. When I heard Don Landry and Gord Stellick's reaction, I thought that for sure this was one of their pre-produced "Jeff Sammutt specials" -- you know those little bits that they do where they spoof people in sports.

Then it became clear that this comedy bit had no punchline.

The team did indeed confirm with much pride that it had just inked the New England native to a deal that will pay him $4.5 million per season until he is almost 40 years old. This is not the NFL -- the contract is guaranteed.

We must be missing the logic here. There has to be something we are not seeing.

DiPietro is good and all that, but come on! Is he Terry Sawchuk meets Patrick Roy with a smattering of Martin Brodeur? For that dough over that many years, he damn well better be.

Former netminder and current Islanders rookie GM Garth Snow is a nice enough guy, but this signing will either make or break him. To open the team's chequebook that wide makes him either a genius beyond our comprehension (way beyond my comprehension) -- or he just made the biggest blunder in NHL history.

Taking some of the heat off Snow is the outspoken man who handed him the GM job earlier this year, Charles Wang. Wang is known to be a little off-the-wall (understatement!!) but can you argue with the fact that the man is rolling in dough?

It would seem that the Islanders missed the reality of the 10-year, $87.5 million US contract they handed Alexei Yashin. You remember that one -- that was the deal that sent NHL salaries soaring and brought us to this world of "the cap" in the first place.

My head is spinning. Are you sure it's not April?

Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her column appears Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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