After Latest Rick DiPietro Groin Injury, Should New York Islanders Dump Him?

By Mark Donatiello
Anthony Gruppuso – US PRESSWIRE

Rick DiPietro is injured again after just two games abroad.  We thought the NHL lockout would help him stay healthy, but SC Riessersee in Germany was forced to hold the New York Islanders goaltender out of an anticipated start this week due to groin issues.

SC Riessersee officially stated through Facebook that DiPietro had injured his groin, though details on the severity of his latest injury were limited.  The news came after DiPietro failed to dress for three consecutive games this week, ultimately missing his latest opportunity to start.  The fragility of the New York Islanders’ former first-round pick in the 2000 draft has derailed what once appeared to be a promising career.  He signed a massive contract worth 67.5 million dollars over 15 years in 2006.

Though the injury appears to be relatively minor, Rick DiPietro injuries are never as simple as they seem.  DiPietro has played in just 47 games over the last four seasons with the New York Islanders due to a variety of injuries, including a broken jaw suffered from a short-lived (and somewhat humorous) goalie fight with Brent Johnson of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 31-year-old goaltender has fizzled into irrelevance over recent years.  The latest injury news from Germany regarding Rick DiPietro means very little to the New York Islanders, particularly during the NHL lockout.  Rick DiPietro, at best, is a very expensive backup with a ridiculous injury history.  Moving forward, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to supplant veteran Evgeni Nabokov as the starting goaltender – particularly considering his inconsistency on the ice during those rare moments when DiPietro is actually healthy.  Considering that Nabokov is in his late thirties, the Islanders have two fairly legitimate injury liabilities on the depth chart to start the season at goaltender.

The Islanders are stuck with DiPietro’s 4.5 million dollar cap hit through 2021, unless the NHL lockout provides teams with an amnesty clause in the new CBA.  While it looked like Rick DiPietro might be able to provide the New York Islanders with some goaltending depth this season, perhaps it’s best to finally cut the oft-injured goaltender from future plans all together.  Expecting DiPietro to contribute has proven foolish over the last four seasons.  Even when healthy, Rick DiPietro has failed to produce in limited action.

Right now, can the New York Islanders really envision Rick DiPietro ever starting consecutive games again?  The NHL lockout could provide the Isles with a fantastic opportunity to move on from one of the worst contracts in the history of hockey.

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