32-Year-Old Goalie – Free Agent
Rick DiPietro Contract Information:
Signed a tryout contract with AHL Charlotte in October 2013.
DiPietro was released from a professional tryout contract with AHL Charlotte on Tuesday, Katie Strang of ESPN reports.
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Rick DiPietro: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Rick DiPietro.
Where do we start with DiPietro? First the good news: DiPietro is healthy, skating and has been removed from the long-term injury list. The bad news for the Isles is that he is healthy, skating and no longer on the long-term injury list. Why is this bad? Because now he actually might take up a roster spot on the team, a spot that could be much better served going to one of the Isles' rising goaltending prospects. DiPietro, who was 3-2-3 in eight starts last year, has never lived up to his billilng as a top goaltender and has been a running joke with his inability to stay healthy for any amount of time. There is also a chance that the Isles may buy out his contract depending upon how the league's labor negotiations play out, but, If he remains on the team, he will more than likely be the backup goaltender to Evgeni Nabokov.
Dipietro equals the anchor around the Islanders' neck. His contract prohibits the team from releasing him without take a big cap hit, and he's not good enough to play everyday,while seemingly struggling to stay healthy for more than two weeks at a time. DiPietro did manage to play in 26 games last season, which is exactly double the amount of games he played in the past two seasons combined. The problem is his goals-against average was 3.44 and he had a save percentage of 88.6. Those numbers should one ticketed to the AHL, but the Islanders insist on keeping DiPietro with the big club not wanting to admit a huge blunder was made by signing him to a 15-year contract back in 2006. That being said DiPietro will likely be the backup to whomever wins the job but if his play doesn't improve, eventually the Islanders will have to make a roster move as they are loaded with young and talented goaltenders.
When you think of DiPietro, two things come to mind: 1) The huge contract he signed that was universally ridiculed, and 2) his history of injuries. The contract doesn't matter to fantasy owners, but the injury history does. The good news is that the Isles haven't signed a third goaltender yet this offseason. This could signify that DiPietro is expected to be healthy enough to at least be the backup goaltender, but of course with his history, fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see approach. Even if DP were to win the starting role -- highly unlikely -- the Isles are still a rebuilding team and wins won't be easy to come by.
DiPietro went under the knife yet again last season and wound playing in just five games. The barrage of injuries the last few years has left the Islanders so confident he will be healthy and in true form this year that they brought in Martin Biron and Dwayne Roloson this offseason. Expect to see DiPietro on the ice at some point this year, but exactly when, for how long and how effective he will be remains to be seen. The reward of taking him on draft day might not outweigh the risk.
The Islanders' franchise netminder has started 60-plus games in three straight seasons. However, due to his rash of injuries the last two seasons, (hip surgeries, concussions, knee procedures, etc.), the team will look to adjust his workload. When all is said and done (and if he stays healthy), he should still see time in 60 games and win around 30 of them, but the team will play things a bit smarter and rotate his backup (whether Joey MacDonald or Yann Danis) in more often than in times past so DP is not seeing double-digit consecutive starts as often as he has been.
Ted Nolan’s tight system benefited DiPietro, and should do so again. While we don’t see him taking that leap to the 40-win plateau (the team may not be strong enough), we don’t see a drastic drop-off in play either. The big area of concern is injury. A concussion toward the end of the season and hip surgery in the off-season gives reason to put up a “buyer beware” sign. However, the team has said that he'll be healthy heading into the season, so be sure to watch him in the pre-season to make sure he's fully recovered.
As expected, DiPietro posted the first 30-win season of his career last year. Despite missing some games due to concussion and knee issues, only five netminders played in more games that RDP. His GAA (3.02 in 2005-06) may improve a bit now that the Isles will seemingly shift to a more defensive-based scheme of play. While we don’t envision a jump into the elite group of goalies, he should be a good number one netminder to have on draft day, but an even better number two. The lack of offense on the roster may hinder his chances at netting more than 30 wins this year.
The future is now for RDP and the Isles. The team gave him the majority of netminding duties in 2003-04, and he responded with a 23-18-5 record. He recorded 5 shutouts and sported a 2.36 GAA. Many people felt the team brought him along too quickly, but he obviously can handle it. Look for DiPietro to jump into the 25 to 30 win range this year.