Islanders sign goalie DiPietro to record 15-year deal

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NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The New York Islanders have agreed a National Hockey League record 15-year contract with goalie Rick DiPietro worth $67.5 million, the NHL club announced on Tuesday.
DiPietro, the first overall selection in the 2000 NHL draft who turns 25 next week, will be paid $4.5 million for each year of the long-term deal.
"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.
"This deal is great news for our franchise and our fans."
The contract is the longest in NHL history, surpassing the 10-year, $87.5 million deal the Islanders gave center Alexei Yashin in 2001. DiPietro would be 40 in the final year.
Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin is the highest-paid goalie this season at $6.75 million.
While DiPietro has shown promise, he ranked 31st in the league's goals-against list in 2005-06 after yielding an average of 3.02 a game, nearly a goal more than leader Mikka Kiprusoff of Calgary who had a 2.07 average.
"I won't let them -- my coaches, my team mates or the fans -- down," DiPietro told a news conference on Tuesday.
He became the third goaltender in franchise history to record 30 wins, finishing two shy of the club record held by Bill Smith.
His 2005-06 record was 30-24-5 with his 3.02 GAA and .900 save percentage, which ranked tied for 24th in the league.
Last year, DiPietro played on a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
He represented the United States last winter at the Olympics in Turin, Italy, starting four games and posting a goals-against average of 2.28.