When Rick DiPietro signed his record 15-year deal with the New York Islanders in September of 2006, fans were hoping they had a future all-star goaltender on their hands. But on February 22nd, 2013, he was placed on waivers.
Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha.
No one could have predicted that DiPietro would spend more time on the IR than on the ice, but he has been limited to 47 games since 2008. His injuries troubles began in March 2007 when he crashed into Montreal forward Steve Begin as he charged to get to a puck at the blue line. DiPietro made a brief return for a few games, but was sidelined again by another concussion that put him out for the rest of the regular season. He did get into some playoff games that spring, all thanks to Wade Dubielewicz’s heroics while Rick was injured.
Since then, his career has gone downhill. Dipietro’s top numbers since 2008 came in 2010-2011, when he took part in 26 games, winning 8 and losing 14. On February 13th of that year, he was listed as day-to-day with the flu, and less than a month later, swelling in his left-knee caused him to be placed on the injured reserve list effective March 2, 2010, and did not return for the rest of the season.
He started the 2010-2011 year apparently healthy and worked in a “platoon” tandem with Dwayne Roloson. On December 21, 2010, he was placed on Injured Reserve due to knee swelling. The next season, he started as the backup to Dwayne Roloson, who was having a stellar year with the Islanders. DiPietro engaged in a rare “goaltender fight” against Pittsburgh’s Brent Johnson in the final seconds of a game against the Penguins on February 2, 2011, but DiPietro went down after Johnson landed a single blow to the face. Two days after the fight it was announced that DiPietro will be out 4–6 weeks with facial fractures and knee swelling.
During practice for the Islanders’ third game, DiPietro took a hard shot to his mask from Brian Rolston, which concussed him and sidelined him indefinitely. DiPietro returned to action in late October, but shortly after, he injured his groin and was again out indefinitely; he later required surgery to repair a hernia in the area, sidelining him for the remainder of the season.
What a goaltender.
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