October 14, 2011
"Rick is day-to-day pending additional assessment and treatment. No further comments related to this issue will be made until further information is available."
This information was released by the New York Islanders about goaltender Rick DiPietro(notes) in October — Oct. 27, 2008, to be exact, when DiPietro suffered a lower body injury that, comically or tragically, the Islanders had to clarify was "unrelated to his previous injuries."
It could have been 2007. Or 2009. Or 2014. Really, the garbage cans in a "Stomp" peformance are less banged up than Rick DiPietro.
Every writer on the Islanders beat probably has a DiPi template on their laptop, filling in the blanks with specifics about the latest setback for the franchise goaltender. So once more, with feeling, here's Katie Strang of ESPN New York:
New York Islanders oft-injured goaltender Rick DiPietro is out indefinitely with a concussion, the team announced. DiPietro, who enjoyed his first healthy offseason in years this summer, took a puck off the facemask during practice Wednesday. He underwent baseline neurological testing Thursday and did not dress in the team's 5-1 win over Tampa.
The practice incident, via Brett Cygalis of the NY Post:
"I talked to him and he said he felt pretty good," [Coach Jack] Capuano said of DiPietro on Thursday morning. "He just took one high and hard and it shook him up a little bit. But he looked alright."
Midway through Wednesday's practice, Brian Rolston(notes) took a slap shot and it hit DiPietro just above the cage of his old-style, Chris Osgood(notes)-inspired mask, cracking the headgear. DiPietro stayed down on the ice for about 15 seconds then immediately went off.
DiPietro has played 39 games in the last three seasons for the Islanders. He is, infamously, signed through 2021 with a $4.5 million cap hit annually. Via Scott Lewis last spring, here are the stats that define DiPietro's NHL career:
Hip surgery: 9 games
Knee surgery: 60 games
Swollen right knee: 41 games
Various knee injuries: 36 games
Lower body injury: 1 game
Groin: 13 games
Neck injury: 2 games
Concussion: 1 game
Personal reasons: 3 games
Flu: 2 games
Headache: 8 games
Cracked Orbital Bone: 21 games
Eventually, we're either going to witness one of the great redemption stories in NHL history or the completion of the most protracted comic tale since "The Aristocrats."
Meanwhile, this is why you keep three goaltenders on the roster.