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Islanders place Rick DiPietro on waivers

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Rick DiPietro is going on waivers. And then to the American Hockey League (USATSI)

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The New York Islanders placed veteran goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers on Friday afternoon. According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, the intention is that, once he clears, they well send him to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.

The team would then call up Kevin Poulin.

The chances of another team claiming are as close to zero as you can get.

Injuries have been a constant problem for DiPietro throughout his career, but it's the eight years and $36 million that he has remaining on his contract that won't make him an option for another team to snag on the waiver wire.

The Islanders signed DiPietro to a 15-year contract before the 2006-07 season. He has appeared in just 175 games since then and only 50 since the start of the 2008-09 season. Needless to say, it hasn't been a great investment.

It was a questionable decision from the start. DiPietro hadn't really shown that he was going to be among the best goalies in the league, which is what you should expect when you're signing a guy for 15 years. What made it even worse for the Islanders was how the team acquired him in the first place, selecting him No. 1 in the 2000 Draft, ahead of players like Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik. But they only did that after trading the guy who was supposed to be their franchise goalie, Roberto Luongo, to the Florida Panthers for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish. Olli Jokinen was also involved in that deal as part of the package that went to Florida.

That trade and the events that followed set the franchise back years. It's a series of events that they're still paying for today.

This is latest move is just another day at the office for the Islanders, a team that has one of the whackiest payroll/salary cap situations in the league.

Not only will DiPietro be earning his $4.5 million salary (which will still count against the cap) to play in the AHL, but the Islanders acquired goalie Tim Thomas -- who has been sitting out this season -- from the Boston Bruins a couple of weeks ago in an effort to get over the salary floor. The Islanders aren't paying Thomas until he shows up (and he's not going to), but his cap hit still counts on the books.

That's more than $9 million in cap space for two goalies who aren't playing for them.

And, let's not forget that, as part of his Alexai Yashin's buyout, he still counts for more than $2 million against the cap for the next two years.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @Agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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