Islanders: ‘There’s a Smaller Increment Than 15 Years? Since When?’

First of all, let’s go back to Larry Brooks’ August 20 column:

A summer ago, [Islander goalie Rick] DiPietro appeared on the verge of signing a 15-year, $60M contract that had been proposed by ownership before the deal collapsed.

Sources with knowledge of the situation strongly suspect that Gary Bettman put the kibosh on the contract.

So how did the Islanders even manage to sign him to a 15-year, $67.5 million deal? Was the league’s alleged objection that the contract didn’t involve enough money?
I really can’t think of one player I’d want locked up for 15 years. The money isn’t insane, unless DiPietro is healthy but not playing well enough to start, which is always a possibility. The deal is insured against injury, but the real danger is mediocrity. The Islanders could end up carrying a starting goalie’s salary long past the time DiPietro is an effective starting goalie. It could just be for a season or it could be for five seasons or it could even be for ten seasons. I can only imagine that once DiPietro is no longer the Islanders’ starting goalie, they’ll just fire GM Garth Snow and promote DiPietro into the slot.