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Islanders to buy out Rick DiPietro

Jul 1, 2013, 9:21 PM EDT

Rick Dipietro AP

Rick DiPietro is about to become an ex-Islander.

Arthur Staple of New York Newsday reports the Islanders will place the much-maligned goaltender on $100 waivers tomorrow for the express purpose of using a compliance buyout on him.

GM Garth Snow’s decision to buy out DiPietro will cost the Islanders $1.5 million per year for the next 16 years as he had eight years remaining on his deal, good for a total of $24 million. Seven years ago, DiPietro signed a 15-year, $67.5 million deal with the team, a deal that’s been panned ever since mostly due to DiPietro’s inability to stay healthy.

The Islanders were already in the market for a goaltender this summer and DiPietro never factored into their plans. Last season, he was sent to the AHL after passing through waivers unclaimed. There he found himself embroiled in some controversy after making comments to a local reporter who mistook his sarcasm for truth when he said the treatment by fans made him contemplate suicide.

DiPietro’s 15-year deal has only been matched in length by Ilya Kovalchuk‘s deal with the New Jersey Devils. Now he sees his future in doubt and an ugly chapter to his career come to a close. It makes quite the fall from grace for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NHL Draft.

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Well his nhl career is over, or was it already?

    • rsmaggiemae - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:45 AM

      I am from Minnesota, and one of the writers wanted Heatly, you can have him at 7.5 mil a year., way too much money for him now, the Wild want to buy out his contract but they cant due to him bein injured
      I know Dipietro has had problems, but can you explain to me what Milbury has to do with this???? Was it something he said on the air, or about the Islanders getting him instead of other players??? We dont often hear too much of what goes on out east…

      • hockey412 - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:04 AM

        Milbury was the GM that drafted him (over Gaborik and Heatley) and signed him to the ridiculous contract. He also traded away Chara, Redden, Luongo, Jokinen, Torres, Kasparitus, on and on…

        Worst. GM. EVER.

  2. RoseTintedVisor - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    my God. My Islanders are legitimately trying to win. Welcome back to the NHL, boys.

  3. giantboy99 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Gotta love Mike Milbury. He set this franchise back for years to come.

    • RoseTintedVisor - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      this was the last tether. the cord to that era is cut. we can move forward now

      • bcisleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        Not quite. We will still be paying him for years to come…and Yash for 2013-14 & 2014-15. At some point in the coming season, Yash will no longer have the most points of an player on the payroll as an Islander. Babysteps!

      • redridershoottheireyeout - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        1.5 M until 2029

      • ray2013 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:30 PM

        I’d love to see him catch on somewhere, if his health is up to it.

    • dcherson - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Did someone ask what did Milbury have to do with the Di Pietro contract?? Was that person conscious at that time? He (and by extension Charles Wong) had everything to do with it.
      One observation that I took away from the playoffs was that I got the distinct feeling that the Islanders have finally overcome the curse of Milbury and Wong. Milbury and his big yap did set the Islanders back several years by his machinations.

      Funny how it works out that the people who work as commentators were, for the most part, failures as coaches and GM’s. At least Barry Melrose puts some content behind his comments and he isn’t half as big a jerk as Milbury.

  4. tjvalley - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    This is a great move.

  5. jcmeyer10 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    He’s set for life monetarily, just rooting for his mental health.

  6. deadrabbit79 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    And to think we gave up Luongo so that we could draft him! Thanks Milbury

  7. 19to77 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    I hope RDP can find an office or scouting position to move on with his hockey life. His health is more important, both physical and mental – now he’s free from risk of severe injury and from the pressure that dogged him since day one in the NHL. I hope the guy can just find a niche he’s a comfortable fit in and get some peace of mind.

  8. moarjam - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Do you guys think he can become a competent backup or is he done?

    • bcisleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      Hard to imagine. He was given every opportunity.

    • Windmiller4 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Probably not. Although it would be interesting to see what a defensive system could do for him, and more importantly his confidence. Maybe a team like Nashville or Phoenix takes a chance on him. Hopefully a change of scenery would do him good

    • stakex - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      I am going to go out on a limb and say yes, he very well could be a solid backup.

      He no longer has the weight of that contract hanging over him, or the pressure of being the Islanders go to guy. On a team with a good starter, and with a much more reasonable contract in hand his head might be in a better place.

      I think the real question is not if he has the ability to play at the NHL level, but its the same as its always been with him…. can he stay healthy? If he can I don’t think his career is over yet.

  9. barkar942 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    It should be an interesting off season to see who wants to come play with a solid young team who are definitely on the upswing and have a new home coming instead of them all coming kicking and screaming until they see what a great nucleus they have there.

  10. Stiller43 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Guys, milburys garbage at everything he does with hockey. We all know that.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      now only if our fellow friends at NBC (cough cough) would understand that as well.

  11. govtminion - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Part of me hopes he finds a way to rebuild his career somewhere else without that albatross contract hanging over him.

    …And a horrible part of me hopes he doesn’t so we can keep using him as a punchline for years to come.

    Either way, this can only be positive for the Islanders. He was never going to be the number-one guy again, and that contract was ridiculous even when it was signed. If ever there was proof that Mike Milbury is clueless about hockey in every way, let this be the top example.

    • bcisleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      To be fair, Milbury’s role was in trading away Luongo and drafting RDP instead of Heatley. The Contract was Wang’s rather inept way of telling Islander fans that the Milbury era was over and the team would no longer trade away its best assets.

      BTW, Wang had wanted to do the deal the year before but Bettman made him wait a year in hopes that he’d change his mind. Also worth noting that Snow’s only involvement w/ The Contract was his appearance at the presser where it was announced.

      The best proof of Milbury’s cluelessness is the roster the Isles might now have if they’d been managed more intelligently. Heatley, Spezza, Chara, Parise, Jokinen and Luongo with Laviolette as Coach. Yeah, think there might have been a few more banners up in the coliseum rafters by now.

      • scalfor3 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:07 AM

        They were the Montreal Expos of hockey back then

  12. crazemastercraze - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    The Flyers should sign him, he fits the mold for typical Flyer goaltenders. The Philadelphia Flyers: professional sports version of Spinal Tap

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Of course you seem to be the Spinal Tap Flyers groupie. Foul mouthed, Trashy and loves to go down on the whole band/team.

  13. jacketsfan7 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    I’ve always like RDP as a person but never as a player , I hope he becomes a scout

  14. tuberippin - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    • nj666 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      U2 sucks.

      • tuberippin - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:15 PM

        Yes. The point of the link is the title, not the band. But I guess the litany of intelligent humans here at PHT didn’t pick up on that.

  15. bcisleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    As a final PS, this was inevitable once the Luongo deal fell through.

  16. luz56 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Milbury is a joke… Melrose is a joke… Button is a joke… These so called experts really set back franchises.. Milbury = Matt Millen

  17. alexb64 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Awful contract for a terribly snakebitten player. Just the perfect storm of a bad situation. Even with the injuries they probably could’ve recouped draft picks or some system depth dealing him, but that contract wasn’t getting traded for no matter how much of it Isles may have eaten. I think even had he not had the injury problems he’s dealt with, I don’t know that he could’ve played well enough to not be a target of fan scorn with that contract. He definitely showed promise, but not “15-year contract” promise. I never blame a player for taking the money anyway, and for the most part I don’t blame teams if the move was worth the investment at the time…just can’t do that here.

  18. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Well hopefully DiP can find his way to a back up role in the NHL. Maybe provide advice and/or give guidance to young ‘tender (something that Ricky D never got).

  19. bobhpine - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    $24M to chill out in obscurity…I’d take a vicious left cross from Brent Johnson to sign up for that deal.

    Seriously though, how is Mike Milbury allowed to even carry cash at this point? His wife/beard should give him a $50 a day debit card for food and gas. This contract is still shocking all this time later. It will take a long time for the effects of inflation to dull the perception of this contract as the stupidest in history.

  20. redridershoottheireyeout - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I thought the buyout period was over Saturday at midnight.

    Does this have anything to do with Thomas?

    Johan Hedberg is available now as well, decent backup goalies are good to have.

  21. frankiesweep - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    Not a bad annuity for 16 years.

  22. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    As much as I enjoy pointing out Milbury’s utter incompetency to be an NHL GM I have to point out that it wasn’t his decision to sign this deal, it was Wang’s (another great example of an owner who has no business making personal decisions in sports).

    Having said that Milbury was the idiot who traded Luongo for him on top of countless of other ridiculous deals.

  23. c1md6 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Lol will go down as the #1 worst signing la in the history of the league.

  24. flydommo - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    The Canucks should have done the same with Luongo, now they are stuck with him for eternity.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      Luongo is still a solid number one goalie, DiPietro is not

  25. allyssao0 - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:17 AM

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    • ballistictrajectory - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Maybe DiPietro can do this… Oh, wait… suffered a sprain to his right index finger and can’t type.

  26. mustbechris - Jul 2, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    I’m going to be 40 when they’re done paying him.

    Oh my god.

  27. isphet71 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    As a Lions fan that has to watch Matt Millen boadcast football games, I feel Islanders’ Fans’ pain when they have to watch Milbury on TV. Dude is awful at broadcasting, too.

    16 years. Wow. A whole generation of pain and penalty from one stupid, stupid contract. That’s possibly even MORE epic of a fail than Millen’s gaffes. At least he didn’t hamstring his franchise for MULTIPLE decades.

  28. quizguy66 - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Wow the Islanders making a move to give themselves cap room?!? Usually they are chasing the salary floor. Good to see a team trying to win again.


  29. lewdood - Jul 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Man, I remember how great this kid was at BU and his first couple of years in the NHL. Let’s not forget he was first injured in the All Star Skills Competition — he f’d up his hip making a save in the breakaway competition. That’s what really set him on the road to ruin. He was one of the first strong pro-fly goalies I ever watched, and without two strong hips you just can’t move well enough to play that style.

    Of course, not realizing that Brent Johnson was a southpaw when he went to fight him didn’t help, either — shattered jaw & major concussion are never good things for your career.

    Glad he’s set financially, I just hope he can still continue his career either on – or off – the ice.

  30. proudliberal85392 - Jul 2, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    A bargain basement deal and no promises beyond being a back-up? That would make Ricky D a good pick-up for somebody.

  31. garryjercia - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    He broke the pen while signing the document, out 3-5 months

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