The Islanders to buy out Rick DiPietro, Kris Letang’s contract negotiations in limbo, vote on Coyotes lease agreement today, update on NHL participation in the Sochi Olympics and more.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders placed goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers for the purpose of buying out the remainder of his contract. As it’s a compliance buyout, the $1.6 million per season over the next 16 years the Islanders will pay DiPietro won’t count against their salary cap.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: When DiPietro signed this 15-year, $67.5 million contract back in September 2006, I recall one pundit saying this contract would either burn the Islanders or make them look like geniuses. I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to form your own conclusion.
While DiPietro will be well-compensated, his NHL career could be over. Injuries took its toll, eventually knocking him out of the Isles lineup. A rival club might take a chance on him on a one-year deal, but given his injury history, it’ll be seen as a gamble. DiPietro’s once-promising career has been derailed, through no fault of his own, so in that regard, I feel sympathy for him.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports Kris Letang’s contract negotiations have hit a snag over his request for a verbal guarantee from Penguins management he won’t be traded over the next twelve months. Letang still has one year remaining on his current contract which lacks a no-trade clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this deal falls through over Letang’s no-trade request, it could be a first. I don’t recall a previous NHL contract negotiation for a star of the caliber of Letang falling apart over a trade clause after term and dollars had been agreed upon.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The fate of the Phoenix Coyotes will be decided today by a crucial vote by the Glendale City Council over a new arena lease agreement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over four years after the Coyotes were put up for bankruptcy by their former owner, things are finally coming to head regarding their future in Arizona. It’s believed if the Glendale City Council rejects the new lease agreement, the NHL – which currently owns the Coyotes – will relocate the franchise this summer to Seattle.
NATIONAL POST: The NHL, NHLPA and the International Ice Hockey Federation are moving closer to an agreement which would allow NHL players to participate in the Sochi Olympics next February.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK/NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed center Dainius Zubrus to a three-year, $9.3 million contract, and re-signed defenseman Peter Harrold to a two-year, $1.6 million deal.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The New York Rangers yesterday traded forward Kris Newbury to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Danny Syvret.