So The question is this: If the Islanders cannot entice a team into taking Rick DiPietro — cough, cough, Vancouver — will Charles Wang authorize an amnesty buyout of the goaltender, or will the Islanders instead use the netminder’s AHL cap hit in order to reach the floor? It is believed general manager Garth Snow, not necessarily known as a truth-teller in his interaction with the press, has chatted with Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis about the possibility of a deal for Roberto Luongo, with DiPietro’s contract part of the package that would go the other way. But as of yesterday, chances of that kind of a swap appeared remote. Which would leave the Islanders with a decision as they attempt to build something concrete off last season’s eighth-place finish and playoff taste. DiPietro has eight seasons at $36 million remaining on his landmark 15-year deal that in some ways has turned out to be less an albatross than a life vest for the franchise that has employed smoke, mirrors, Nino Niederreiter and the ghost of Alexei Yashin to remain above the NHL cap floor. Under the collective bargaining agreement adopted in January, clubs no longer can use bonuses to reach the floor. By subtracting DiPietro, who would carry a $3.575 million cap hit with AHL Bridgeport, the Islanders would be at approximately $31.49 million, or around $12.5 million shy of the $44 million floor. Josh Bailey is a Group II free agent whose contract is unaccounted for. The same applies to defenseman Travis Hamonic and goaltender Kevin Poulin. Indeed, other than DiPietro, the Islanders don’t have a goaltender under contract. Using an amnesty buyout on DiPietro — who would receive $1.5 million from the Islanders for the next 16 years under that scenario — would put pressure on Snow to sign a quality free agent or two, or use some of the stable of prospects to deal for a veteran.
Floor’s the limit for thrifty Isles
New York Post | Jun 30