In case you hadn't noticed, the New York Islanders have changed their management a few times recently. They haven't, however, changed their philosophy on signing contracts with players. Today, they agreed to a FIFTEEN year contract with goalie Rick DiPietro. As if they hadn't learned about the onerous burden that the Yashin contract carries. Admittedly, this one is a bit cheaper, being for $67.5 million ($4.5 per year, on average), but still... this is incredible.
Following up on the incredible, the Flyers handed out an offer sheet for a restricted free agent, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks (see the prior link for more). What makes this significant is that the Flyers are offering $1.9 million for a guy who had 10 goals and 23 assists last year. This will set a barometer for arbitration hearings and will cascade over to other players, making everyones life more miserable, players included. How does it affect the players negatively, you ask? Well, since there is now a salary cap, when teams can't afford the arbitration award, the player is cut loose. Other teams aren't going to pay that level of salary. This means that the player will go from elated with their award to a pay cut without ever seeing a dime of their raise.
The only good thing in this is that there is a salary cap, and player costs cannot exceed 54% of league revenues. This means that teams can be as dumb as they want to be, since the only one that will ultimately pay the price for their silliness is themselves.