The End of the Rick DiPietro Era
2/22/13 – 11:33am: Islanders place goalie Rick DiPietro on Waivers
It’s hard to believe that the DiPietro era is coming to an end for the New York Islanders. For seven years, Islanders fans have been tortuned by the most infamous deal in sports history. When the Isles signed Rick DiPietro prior to the 2006 season for 15 years, $67.5 million, it seemed like an absurd deal. But at the time, DiPietro looked like he was well on his way to becoming a franchise goaltender. He was the first overall pick in the 2000 NHL draft and by 2005 he was heading into his prime as an NHL goalie. He started 63 games in 2005-06 and 30 games. In the 2006-07 season (the first season of his new contract), he was one of hockey’s best goal-tenders with a 32-19-9 record and an impressive 2.58 GAA. But that was the last positive season DP would ever have in an Islanders uniform. Instead of explaining this disastrous career, here’s a timeline of DiPietro’s career since the 2007 season:
March 13, 2007: DiPietro suffers concussion vs. Montreal
DiPietro collides with Canadiens’ forward Steve Begin while trying to poke check. He would return four games later, but sustain another concussion against the Rangers later in the season. DiPietro returned for the first round playoff series against Buffalo, but the Isles were eliminated in five games.
2007 off-season: DiPietro undergoes surgery to fix a torn labrum in his hip
DiPietro came back healthy for the 2007-08 season. He finished the season with a 26-28-7 record and a 2.82 GAA. DP was also named the Eastern Conference starting goaltender in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game. The Islanders failed to make the playoffs.
June 3, 2008: DiPietro undergoes knee surgery
Missed the first four games of the season, but returned for the fifth game at Florida. During his third game back, DiPietro left the game with an “undisclosed lower body injury.”
November 1, 2008: DiPietro Undergoes Second Knee Surgery
DiPietro gets a second knee surgery on the same meniscus that was repaired the previous June. DiPietro returned for one more game late in December 2008, but then sat out the rest of the season due to re-injuring his knee.
January 8, 2010: DiPietro Returns to the Ice for the First Time in Over a Year
DiPietro would lose 5 of his 7 starts in the 2009-10 season. His final start was on February 6th in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. I had the pleasure of watching that blowout behind the net.
February 13, 2010: DiPietro listed as Day-to-Day with the Flu / Swelling of Left Knee
Done for the season.
December 21, 2010: DiPietro placed on Injured Reserve due to Knee Swelling
Eight days later, DP miraculously returns and defeats the Penguins!
February 2, 2011: “The Fight” – Out Indefinitely
In the waning seconds of a terrible Islanders game at Pittsburgh, DiPietro engaged in a goalie-goalie fight against Brent Johnson. Not knowing that Johnson was a lefty, DP was knocked out with one punch. DiPietro was out for 4-6 weeks with a swollen jaw, and of course – swelling in his left knee.
November 2011: Injures Groin – Out for Season
DiPietro started the 2011-12 strong with a solid 25 save performance against the Capitals. But shortly after, DiPietro was sidelined with a groin injury. He later underwent surgery to repair a hernia in the groin region; therefore missing the remainder of the season.
February 22, 2013: DiPietro Placed on Waivers
From 2008-2012, Rick DiPietro played in a total of 47 games for the Islanders. This deal has ultimately made the Isles’ front office a laughing stock in the NHL. No team in their right mind would pick up an injury prone goaltender who’s guaranteed more money than almost anyone in the league, so Rick is likely headed to AHL -Bridgeport. There have been rumors circulating that the Islanders are looking to buy out his contract at the end of the year. If so, maybe this organization can put this terrible decision behind them and look to the bright future.
DiPietro may have been a bust, but whoever throws a punch at Sean Avery is a hero in my book: