The New York Islanders have signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. The deal will pay DiPietro $4.5 million annually.
''In all of our discussions with Rick, he made it clear that he wanted to be an Islander for the rest of his career,'' said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. ''But it was of equal importance to Rick that we work out a deal that would allow us to continue to build a Stanley Cup contender for years to come. This deal is great news for our franchise and our fans.''
''I'm extremely appreciative of the commitment (Islanders owner) Charles Wang and Garth have made to me,'' said DiPietro.
Islanders' owner Charles Wang, who was directly involved in the negotiations, had indicated that if DiPietro didn't sign by Friday, when the team opens training camp in Nova Scotia, that DiPietro would not play in the 2006-07 season.
''Rick's made no secret for a long time that he wanted to be an Islander his whole career,'' DiPietro's agent Paul Krepelka told The Associated Press..