Weep or weep not for Rick DiPietro?
The former New York Islanders goalie and current unrestricted free agent will receive $1.5 million annually for the next 16 years thanks to the New York Islanders’ buyout of his 15-year contract.
On top of that, he’s going to make some dough from the sale of his Brookville, Long Island, home, which is currently on the market for $5.9 million.
What’ll that get you?
The five-bedroom, 4-1/2-bath brick house is in a grandly designed cul-de-sac within a gated community. The home is elegantly furnished. It was built in 2002 on a 2.11-acre lot with a saltwater pool, generator and three-car garage.
Yes, during all those days DiPietro spent on the shelf, many of them were spent in a $5.9 million home with a salt water swimming pool. It also has a wine fridge, surround sound in every room and a home theater that you see above, which is perfect for keeping track of NHL injury reports from the comfort of your home.
(According to Newsday, DiPietro isn’t even the ex-Islander with the most expensive house on the market right now. Pat LaFontaine has his Lloyd Neck home listed for $6.995 million. U-S-A!)
So, weep or weep not for Rick DiPietro?
Despite his financial status, we’d say “weep.”
Where is he going to play next? The NHL goaltending carousel has come to a near stop, and there are other options out there they don’t carry the obvious baggage DiPietro does.
He’s played 11 games in the NHL over the last two seasons due to injury and ineffectiveness. Go back to 2008, and he’s played 50 games in five seasons. It’s entirely possible there were more magnetic schedule giveaways at Nassau Coliseum than Rick DiPietro starts in the last five years.
How does one ignore that work history? Those injuries? That backstory? Those odd comments about depression that he needed to clarify?
The toughest sell for his agent, Ian Pulver, is trying to convince a team to take a chance on a player that hasn’t played.
“He’s training hard and working on and off the ice. That’s his major focus right now. Training hard, being ready for an opportunity. That’s the best I can tell you,” Pulver told us recently.
DiPietro has been working with Matt Nichol of Biosteel this summer, trying to improve his fitness and flexibility. We reached out to Nichol for an update on DiPietro to no avail.
There may be an NHL opportunity for DiPietro. His name has been floated for the Florida Panthers’ current vacancy in goal, with Scott Clemmensen injured and out for three weeks.
I think signing DiPietro would be a low-risk, high reward move for the Florida Panthers. He could be signed at a very low cost to a short one or two year contract. If Clemmensen’s injury issues persist, he would make a perfect back up to Markstrom and there is still the chance that at 31, DiPietro could tap into some of the talent and ability that made him a number one draft pick way back in 2000. If Markstrom struggles or gets injured, DiPietro would absolutely be a better option than players like Houser or Madore, both of whom have zero NHL experience.
And hey, if you look at the available free agents, maybe he’s not the worst option in a pinch.
There are other options, too: PTOs, the minors, Europe. The bottom line is that he needs to play, and needs to show he can play. It’s the only road back.
We agree with the idea that Rick DiPietro is a punchline not of his own making, and hence is more a tragic figure than anything else. He was a player defined by his contract and humbled by injuries that weren’t always of his making. He’s someone you’d like to see have a second chapter in the NHL.
He hasn’t played.
PTO? Wouldn’t rule it out