On July 18, 2006, New York Islanders' backup Garth Snow retired and was summarily announced as the team's new General Manager. Needless to say, it was a surprise.
It was also the first of two extremely unusual offseason goaltending moves the Islanders would make that year. The second came two months later, when Snow made his first gonzo deal, handing Rick DiPietro a guaranteed $67.5 million to mind the net for the next 15 years.
I go back and forth over which goaltending move was a more unorthodox one for the Islanders. What's stranger, signing goaltenders to deals that will outlive most housepets, or promoting backups to general manager? Either way, the summer of 2006 was a good time to be a goalie on Long Island.
Since then, not so much. Just north of five years from signing the deal, DiPietro has only played 164 games due to a bevy of injuries, some suffered in unlikely scenarios, such as during the All-Star game shootout competition or in a goalie fight.