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DiPietro: ‘I definitely want to play’ in the NHL

Jul 3, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT

Rick DiPietro Getty Images

The New York Islanders finally did what seemed inevitable, buying out star-crossed goalie Rick DiPietro on Wednesday.

Many believe this will represent the end of the line for the 31-year-old netminder, but he told New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple that he isn’t ready to hang up his skates.

“I definitely want to play,” DiPietro said.

The injury-ravaged goalie insists he’s healthier than he’s been in a long time.

That’s going to be a hard sell. Just check out his games played total since everything fell apart following the 2007-08 season, his lone All-Star campaign:

2008-09: five games played
09-10: 8 GP
10-11: 26 GP
11-12: 8 GP
12-13: 3 GP

Part of last season’s low workload had to do with spending most of his time in the AHL, but that’s still a rough run, especially since his save percentage peaked at .900 in 2009-10.

DiPietro expressed gratitude to the Islanders organization, even if he’s sad to leave when the team seems to be on an upward trend.

“The Isles are finally (turning a corner) and the most disappointing part is that I won’t be a part of it,” DiPietro said. It was a great 13 years … I can’t say how much I appreciate everything Charles (Wang) and the Isles did for me.”

  1. bcisleman - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    A team MIGHT take a flier on a two way deal and start him in its AHL affiliate…otherwise he’s done.

    • James O'Brien - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Yeah, no way he’s getting a one-way contract.

  2. valarmorghuliss - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Philly is considering a 4 year deal for him

    • sizzle299 - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Another member of Flyers Envy Nation who can’t take a day/article off from it.

      • mrpinkca - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:09 AM

        Fan bases from the 29 other teams turn their jealous eyes to the south eastern corner of Pennsylvania and think “Gee, if only my team could have the 19th best record, no starting goalie, an abysmal blue line and negative cap space to improve on it.”

        Yes the Flyers Envy Nation grows larger with each passing day, just wishing that could be their team.

  3. mpops86 - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    “The Isles are finally (turning a corner) and the most disappointing part is that I won’t be a part of it,” DiPietro said. It was a great 13 years … I can’t say how much I appreciate everything Charles (Wang) and the Isles did for me.”

    Right in the feels. Jesus, that sucks.

  4. iHeartHockey31 - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    A lot of goalies “want” to play in the NHL.
    His 32 games didn’t give him enough ice time to make the AHL rankings, but even son, his .893 SV% was worse than all 47 goaltenders that were ranked. [The 47th place AHL netminder had a .895 SV%]. I don’t think he’s going to be playing anywhere in North America let alone the AHL anytime soon. Brian Boucher even managed a better AHL SV% [.908]. Good luck with that…..

  5. 950003cups - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    DiPietro is gonna have to sign a 2-Way minimum deal.

    Right now I can’t think of a team who would even want to waste time on him.

    Maybe Vancouver or Edmonton would be willing to sign him as a goodwill gesture to Luongo or Dubnyk. Having DP back them up should make them very happy after Edmonton went after Schnieder and Vancouver…. Well we all know about that debacle.

    • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      Like every sports movie we ever watched, the hero has to hit rock bottom before he finds some redemption. If this were a sports movie, DiPietro would sign a veteran’s minimum contract with some team for a chance to keep playing hockey, even in the AHL. And he’d end the season with a late call-up and get a shutout.

      But in all honesty, I don’t know what GM would approach their owner and ask them to spend around a half-million dollars on a player that hasn’t played a full season in over five years. Hope he earns a shot somewhere.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:11 AM

        All we need now is a training montage… with Spanish subtitles…

  6. stakex - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    He’ll never get a job as a starter, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him play as a backup in the NHL at some point.

  7. shanesander - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    and the Philadelphia Flyers sign….. LOL

  8. matt14gg - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    DiPietro’s negative career trend is masked by the label “injuries” The truth is he’s just not a very good NHL goalie. He was drafted out of BU years ago in a different NHL. In that game playing the puck outside the crease area was seen as a great asset for a goalie to have. He’s never been a very good side to side goalie (which is weird cuz he’s small and quick, but I’m guessing his knee injuries won’t allow him to shuffle side to side the way a goalie needs to) and that is how goalies must play in today’s NHL. His value was in how well he played the puck, but goalies don’t really play the puck anymore, cuz coaches hate when they do and because the trapezoid mostly negates it anyway. If he wants to be able to compete in today’s NHL he needs a goalie coach who can get him to be more agile shuffling east-west. It’s the reason Andrew Raycroft was exposed after the first lockout. He was an “angles” goalie who could not compete in the new “athletic goalie’s” league.

    • alexb64 - Jul 4, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      I agree on the playing the puck thing being negated by the game changing post-lockout, but his numbers indicate that his negative downtrend was related to the injuries. He played well his first few seasons, on par with the typical developing starting goalie. Due to my always seeing Isles games from a regional perspective (meaning not MSG or whoever broadcasted their games at the time) I always got an unbiased perspective of him via my broadcasters & him being a #1 goalie (not saying franchise just because that designation is mostly hype & never prevents a “franchise” player from being moved even when they pan out) was never in question. Even during the early years when the injuries set in, it always seemed stated that the starting job was his whenever he was healthy, by then however staying healthy was long gone from being his only problem & his performance was also not getting it done. You’re probably right about the knees specifically hindering his ability to play side-to-side though. Just saying had he stayed healthy I didn’t see any reason he couldn’t have been a consistent #1 goalie.

  9. lonespeed - Jul 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    I like his chances better than Tim Thomas.

  10. s2mikey - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    At the most, he could be an interesting playoff run goalie that gets hot at the right time. Probably not though. The dude made millions off of one or two good seasons during a time when goalies had it much easier, IMO. Just ain’t worth it. Sorry , Rick. Go buy an island somewhere and just forget it.

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