September 12th, 2006: New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow announces that the team has signed starting goaltender and former 1st overall draft pick Rick DiPietro to a historic 15-year deal worth $67.5.
DiPietro’s contract still stands as the longest in NHL history, however the team elected to buy him out of his deal just seven years into the agreement. The young goaltender with tremendous skill and pedigree had his career sidetracked several times due to devastating injuries, surgeries and setbacks in his recovery.
DiPietro’s injury history reads like an Emergency Room log with multiple knee surgeries, hip surgeries, concussions and facial fractures. His career is a cautionary tale for any GM looking to sign a young player to a long-term deal. Hockey is a brutal game and you NEVER know what could happen out on the ice.