Islanders’ Rick DiPietro cleared to play, just in time for the lockout

Rick DiPietro made a rare foray onto the ice last week, hosting a goaltending camp for young hockey players. "It feels good to get on the ice with the kids and show them some things," he told Newsday. "It's not rehab, it's fun."

Lord knows the man is sick of rehab; Amy Winehouse he ain't. DiPietro's played only 47 games over the last four years, sidelined with unending injuries.

But, for now, those days are behind him, and more forays onto the ice are on the way. The New York Islanders eagerly announced yesterday that the fragile backstop has been cleared to play.

The New York Islanders announced today that goaltender Rick DiPietro has been removed from injured reserve.

DiPietro, 30, had been sidelined since Dec. 3, 2011, first with a groin strain and then with a sports hernia and knee swelling. The Winthrop, MA, native appeared in eight games last season, posting a 3-2-3 record.

Now, you just know the doubters and cynics (and also some realists) are just counting down the days until DiPietro's next injury. But why track these things manually when the Internet exists?

Like Scott Gomez's goalless drought and several other mockable inevitabilities, DiPietro's days without an accident are being monitored by a snarky website. I give you:

I don't know about you, but that website's enthusiasm for DiPietro's health seems disingenuous.

Actually, so does the Islanders' enthusiasm. Announcing DiPietro's health with a very official press release may have had less to do with their glee over finally having their goaltender back in action and more to do with not having to pay him in the event of a lockout. Thus saith Chris Botta:

You'd think they'd be used to paying him to sit out by now.

s/t to Reddit.