Rick DiPietro, the oft-injured New York Islanders goaltender, has been placed on waivers for the purposes of being bought out by the team, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday. The Islanders will owe DiPietro $1.5 million each season until 2029, but his contract will be scrubbed from the salary cap.
DiPietro signed his now infamous 15-year, $67.5 million deal following the 2005-06 season. It came with an annual cap hit of $4.5 million, which, based on today's prices for starting goalies, looks pretty good. However, things never really panned out the way DiPietro or the Islanders expected.
DiPietro has been riddled with injuries, appearing in just 175 NHL games since the 2006-07 season. This year, he was demoted to the AHL, where he struggled in 18 appearances with a .893 save percentage.
The former face of the franchise has now become a symbol of its struggles. This buyout, which comes with eight years remaining on DiPietro's deal, ends a bitterly disappointing run for both the goaltender and the Islanders. The club can now move forward as it looks to be headed in the right direction after years of futility.
It's hard to know if DiPietro will be given many opportunities, but some team might be willing to take a chance on the once-promising goaltender at an AHL discount.
In 318 career appearances with the Islanders, the 2000 first-overall pick established a 130-136-8-28 (W-L-T-OTL) record with a .902 save percentage, 2.87 goals-against average and collected 16 shutouts.