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Those wacky, wacky, Islanders...

If figures that a day after I post a question about who made the worst off-season move this summer, the New York Islanders stun the hockey world with a mind boggling 15 year contract with goaltender . This move is dumb on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start:

1) The Islanders have been hamstrung for years by the 10-year deal they gave in 2001. Now they want to lock up a goalie for 15 years?

2) By locking in 15 years of salary, both sides of the deal have taken tremendous risks. If DiPietro isn't one of the better goalies in the game, then the Islanders will overpay for years on end. If salaries around the league appreciate at a decent rate, then within a few years DiPietro will be one of the lower-paid starters around the league, whether he wins a few Vezinas or not.

3) This decision appears to have been made by a committee of front office staff, led by owner Charles Wang. This is always a bad sign for a franchise, let alone newly-minted GM Garth Snow. From the ESPN article:

Wang's direct involvement in these negotiations fell into line with the owner's new front office by committee.

It was this type of management structure that led to the firing of Neil Smith, who was let go just weeks after he took the job in the offseason and months before the Islanders were to play a game under him.

Smith balked at the delegation of authority and the system initiated by Wang and was replaced by Snow -- who retired from his playing career with the Islanders -- on July 18.

It's hard to believe that management on Long Island could have gotten worse with the semi-departure of , but these amazing Islanders just never seem to disappoint. I hereby declare Garth Snow of the New York Islanders the runaway winner of the 2006 Offseason Least-Valuable GM Award...


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