The New York Islanders will place goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers today and intend to buy out the remainder of his 15-year, $67.5 million contract, once the longest in National Hockey League history.
The team will be responsible for paying DiPietro $24 million, two-thirds of the $36 million remaining on the deal.
DiPietro will earn $1.5 million annually through 2029. The league’s labor agreement allows each team in the next two seasons two compliance buyouts, which do not count against the franchise’s salary cap space. Teams that exercise that option must pay the player two-thirds of his remaining salary across twice the remaining length of the deal.
“It is an extremely tough decision to use the compliance buyout on Rick’s contract,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said in a statement. “His drive to win games and compete at the highest level for the New York Islanders was never questioned. With Rick back at 100% health, we wish him nothing but the best.”
DiPietro was selected by the Islanders with the first pick in the 2000 NHL draft and signed a 15-year, $67 million contract with the team in 2006.
DiPietro ends his Islanders career with a 130-136 record. He was limited to a total of 50 games over the past five seasons because of injuries. He played in three games last season, going 0-3 with a 4.09 goals against average before clearing waivers in February and being sent to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.
DiPietro will become a free agent on July 5. Under the league’s labor agreement he is free to sign with any NHL club except the Islanders.