Sunday, 4 March 2007

Is 15 Years So Bad? (Part One)

Thinking about Smyth has, obviously, caused me to think more about the New York Islanders. Generally speaking, doing so has always made me laugh. Milbury and Wang, as a duo, are hard not to chuckle at. Oddly enough though, one of the funniest things they have ever done is starting to look like it might just be kinda smart.

The Rick DiPietro contract is 67.5 million spread evenly over 15 years. Works out to 4.5 million /yr and he is currently in the first year of that deal. DiPietro is 24/25 yrs old - the deal takes him to age 40.


His last few years of stats:

2003-04 .. 50 gp .. 28-18-5 .. 2.36 gaa .. .911 sv%
2005-06 .. 63 gp .. 30-24-5 .. 3.02 gaa .. .900 sv%
2006-07 .. 54 gp .. 29-18-6 .. 2.66 gaa .. .915 sv% - season incomplete

Not bad at all really. The key stat is sv% and and anything over .910 with 50+ games played is pretty good. If his season continues as is he will rank between 8th and 10th in that category this year. It is important to note that most of the guys ranked ahead of him are older and on better teams.

Age, cap hit and names of some of the goalies statistically ahead of DiPietro at this point in time:

34 yrs old .. 5.20 /yr .. Brodeur (to 2001-12)
27 yrs old .. 6.75 /yr .. Luongo (to 2009-10)
25 yrs old .. 2.67 /yr .. Miller (to 2008-09)
34 yrs old .. 3.33 /yr .. Kiprusoff (to 2007-08)
35 yrs old .. 3.99 /yr .. Giguere (UFA is off-season)
23 yrs old .. 0.93 /yr .. Emery (RFA in off-season)
21 yrs old .. 1.23 /yr .. Fleury (to 2007-08)
29 yrs old .. 2.28 /yr .. Vokoun (next year starts 4 yrs at 5.7 /yr)

2007-08: factoring in Vokoun's raise and Giguere's next contract (should project to $5.5 - 6.5 million) there will be four goalies making substantially more than DiPietro next year.
2008-09: Kipper and Fleury both get their raises and that will make it six goalies getting premium dollars.
2010-11: Miller gets his cash.

Emery's contract is the wild-card - if Ottawa signs him long-term at 3.5 - 4.0 /yr then he is below the curve but if he goes two or three year terms and proves himself then somewhere in 2010 he gets the big money.

Think about all of that for a second. As of now DiPietro is underpaid compared to a few NHL goalies but is comfortably ensconced as one of the higher paid tenders. In a few short years he will be underpaid compared to many, or even all, of the goalies in his performance bracket.

At his age this will be the norm for over a decade.

I will write more on this in a future post however, as of now, the contract is looking more crazy like a fox than just out-right crazy.
Have a great evening everyone.

1 comment:

Vic Ferrari said...

Nice post YK.

As crazy as it seemed at the time, like Matt at BofA I reserved judgment on that one at the time.

As you say, with the current rates of inflation this contract is seeming better and better though.

I guess much depends on the real risk associated with DiPietro turning out to be poor (seems extremely unlikely given the stats you posted here, and the EVsave% at is very good too, and I remember mudcrutch79 saying that DPs AHL numbers were excellent for a guy his age).

And with the risk of injury (or cost of insuring the contract). But really, unlike skaters, career ending injuries to goaltenders just seem extremely rare to me. I haven't seen any data to support this, just my intuit.

The third variable is the projected growth in the league revenues over the term of the contract. And that's anyone's guess. Though with the new CBA money losing teams will probably be able to find new cities to relocate to, and with larger revenue streams (at least in the short term). Even if it's just 3.5% average growth (including inflation) then in 15 years we'll be looking ahead to an 80+ million dollar cap next season. DiPietro would be getting Belfour-Old ... and he'd be earning only about 5% of the payroll.