Sansided
Islanders All Time Lists

New York Islanders Five Worst Player Personnel Decisions Ever

UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 21: Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders watches the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning from the bench at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 21, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 21: Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders watches the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning from the bench at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 21, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
3 of 6
SUNRISE, FL – APRIL 5: Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers poses with a puck with the number 1,000 on it after the game against the Boston Bruins at the BB&T Center on April 5, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. Luongo played in his 1,000 NHL game as a goaltender, joining Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy in the exclusive club. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL – APRIL 5: Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers poses with a puck with the number 1,000 on it after the game against the Boston Bruins at the BB&T Center on April 5, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. Luongo played in his 1,000 NHL game as a goaltender, joining Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy in the exclusive club. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Giving Up On Roberto Luongo

In 1997 the New York Islanders drafted Roberto Luongo with the fourth overall pick. After a 60 game draft year where Luongo held a 3.10 GAA and .902SV% for the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the high scoring QMJHL.

But Luongo wouldn’t make his debut for the Islanders until the 1999-2000 season. He’d play seven games and put up an OK 3.25 GAA and 0.904SV% for a New York Islanders team that went a terrible 24-48-9-1. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning and Atlanta Thrashers had worse seasons.

But with the ability to draft first overall in 2000, the Islanders select a goalie for only the second time in NHL history with Rick DiPietro.

GM Mike Milbury would throw all of his eggs in the Rick DiPietro basket and trade Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish.

At the draft Mike Milbury, giving himself the most apt-nickname I’ve ever seen, had the following to say about the trade:

"”As dangerous as this might be, maybe Mad Mike has something going for him,” Milbury said of his dealings for a team that last reached the playoffs in 1994. ”We have not made the playoffs in far too long. We need to get there. It’s a roll of the dice a little bit.”"

He’s right, it was a bit of a dice roll. And it didn’t work out at all. In Luongo’s first season with the Florida Panthers, he put up 2.44 GAA and a .920SV% in 47 games played. Rick DiPietro in 20 games was a 3.49GAA and .878SV% goalie.

In year one “Mad Mike’s” roll of the dice failed miserably. Why didn’t he keep both goalies and play them as a 1A-1B? See who the better player is and keep him? It doesn’t make sense to risk it all for a goalie who he had never see play in the NHL. Mike truly was mad.

facebooktwitterreddit