Zeitgeist: These long contracts are awful, I mean smart

How could the Islanders sign this guy for 9 years when--oh, it was the Flyers, you say? Great deal! A commitment to winning!

Your Major Hockey Publication Columnist walks into the room, grabs pen, and begins:

Ten years, huh? TEN years for a defenseman! Here that team goes again. They never learned from that Alexei Yashin deal and they never learned from that Rick DiPietro deal.

'Cause here those crazy Islanders go again, with a 10-year contract -- to a non-star defenseman, no less. And they're paying him EIGHTEEN MILLION in just the first two seasons alone.

Now granted, it tails off in the final four years to lessen the cap hit and dance around the salary cap (which all NHL teams should do, if they are in the blessed club that can get away with it).

But it's still the same ol' Islanders, and it's why they're never gonna win. Why, I even heard they signed an average Russian goalie for NINE years, at a cap hit over $5.6 million!

Wait ... what's that, you say? ...

You say these contracts are actually between the Buffalo Sabres and Christian Ehrhoff, and the Philadelphia Flyers and Ilya Bryzgalov? ... Really? Oh.

Fantastic deals then. What moves! Such guts and commitment to winning! You can tell these franchises really care!

Boy, they're really doing some great things in Buffalo, what with adding Ville Leino for six years at $4.5 million per to a collection that already includes Tomas Vanek for an eternity at over $7 million annually, and Jason Pominville at $5.3 million annually with a no-trade clause(!), to go with $6.25 million for the star goalie, and the $4 million still left on the contract for that 17-goal scorer who scored 40 goals that one time, long before they spent a draft pick to add him.

Now that is what I call putting your money where your mouth is, in all the right pl... well in some places, anyway.

Why, that franchise is so committed to winning, they even brought back Ales Kotalik and his $3 million salary -- never mind that he hasn't performed like an NHLer in three seasons and has been rejected by every team from Alberta to Manhattan. It's just great to see such commitment and dedication in Buffalo.

You know what franchise is long overdue to offer some bold gestures demonstrating their desire to win? The New York Islanders. Why, if only the Islanders would lock a mid-tier player up for 10 years, or maybe a goalie for almost a decade, then we leaguewide pundits would be singing their praises. Treat them just like we do other teams.


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