Isles become front-runners for Tavares
The New York Islanders received some unwanted news just one game into the new season as the team learned that goaltender Rick DiPietro has swelling and fluid around his surgically repaired left knee.
DiPietro, who has been plagued by knee injuries throughout his career, underwent meniscus surgery in June and played in only one of the Islanders pre-season games.
Or for the rest of his career.
DiPietro's 27 years old, older than you might think, and has an incredible 13 years left on his current contract at $4.5-million a season. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2021, when he's a few months from turning 40.
I'm not so sure he'll make it that long — and there are $54-million to be paid out beyond this season.
You also cannot buy out the contract of an injured player.
UPDATE Here's what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had to say about the DiPietro contract when it was signed a few years back: "My reaction is two-fold. One, and I'm on record saying this long before this contract, namely I think under the type of system we have, it's generally more prudent to enter into shorter-term contracts than longer-term contracts ... because under our collective bargaining agreement, there is no ability to renegotiate a contract ... With respect to this particular contract, only time will tell whether or not it was a wise move or a less-than-wise move."