Rick DiPietro

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Rick DiPietro
Rick DiPietro.jpg
Born (1981-09-19) September 19, 1981 (age 33)
Winthrop, MA, USA[1]
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Right
NHL team
Former teams
Free Agent
New York Islanders
National team  United States
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2000
New York Islanders
Playing career 2000–present

Richard W. DiPietro, Jr. (born September 19, 1981) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender who is a free agent. He was the first overall selection by the New York Islanders in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

He signed a ground breaking 15-year contract in 2006 after which he suffered a string of injuries from 2008 until he was subsequently bought out by the Islanders on July 2, 2013.

Playing career[edit]

Collegiate[edit]

DiPietro attended Saint Sebastian's School. He played one season (1999–2000) with Boston University in the NCAA's Hockey East. In that one year, DiPietro was named to the All-Rookie Team, named Second Team All-Hockey East, awarded the team's Co-MVP and was named Hockey East's Rookie of the Year. In addition, DiPietro nearly set the NCAA record for most saves in a game when he stopped 77 out of 80 shots in a 3-2 quadruple overtime loss to St. Lawrence University during the NCAA regional final (the record of 86 saves is held by Kristen Salierno). In his one and only Beanpot Tournament, DiPietro was named MVP and won the Eberly Trophy awarded to the tournament's top goaltender.

Professional[edit]

2000–08[edit]

He was drafted first overall by the New York Islanders in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, out of Boston University, prompting them to trade Roberto Luongo. Islander GM Mike Milbury traded Luongo, so that he could draft the highly touted goaltender known for his mobility and puck handling skills. DiPietro was the fourth American to occupy the top draft position in the NHL Entry Draft.

Though his NHL debut was widely anticipated, he played 20 games in the 2000–01 season and managed to post just 3 wins against 15 losses for a struggling New York team. DiPietro was subsequently sent to the minors for additional seasoning. He played for the Chicago Wolves of the IHL and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. He played 10 games the next season (as well as one playoff game) before being called up for good in the 2003-2004 season. His goals-against average decreased from 3.49 in the 00-01 season to 2.36 in the 03-04 season.

Along with former Islanders teammates Jason Blake and Mark Parrish, DiPietro was named to the United States national hockey team at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, held in February 2006. DiPietro was Team USA's No. 1 goaltender for the tournament, starting 4 of the team's 6 games. DiPietro played well, sporting a 2.28 goals against average, but went 1-3 during the Olympics.

On September 12, 2006, DiPietro signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the Islanders, topping former teammate Alexei Yashin's contract signed before the start of the 2001–02 season of 10 years.[2] Newsday reported that the team offered him a 15-year contract in September 2005, but the NHL front office discouraged the Islanders from making such an offer. Instead, DiPietro signed on a one-year deal with the Islanders.

DiPietro's contract—the longest under the 2005 CBA—was nearly superseded in 2010. During the 2010 offseason, the New Jersey Devils attempted to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a 17-year contract, but that offer was rejected by the NHL on the grounds of salary cap circumvention.[3]

On March 5, 2007, DiPietro broke an Islanders franchise record by making 56 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers. The previous record was 55 saves, held by both Félix Potvin and Billy Smith. (The record was broken by Dwayne Roloson in 2009)[4]

On March 13, 2007, DiPietro suffered a concussion after a collision with Montreal Canadiens forward Steve Bégin when DiPietro raced out to poke check a puck at the blueline at 15:41 of the first period. DiPietro returned for four games but then missed the rest of the regular season after he sustained another concussion in game against the New York Rangers. DiPietro returned to play games two through five of the Islanders' first round playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres.

The concussion was the start of a string of injuries. DiPietro underwent surgery in the 2007 off season to fix a torn labrum in his hip.[5]

In 2007, DiPietro expressed a desire to become more of a team leader. He said, "I'm a competitive person, and I have a tendency to have a short fuse with guys sometimes. That's something, as a leader, that you just can't do."[5]

On November 19, 2007, DiPietro got his 100th NHL career win when the Islanders beat the New York Rangers 2-1.[6]

DiPietro was selected to appear in his first NHL All-Star Game in 2008 as a reserve, but he was named the starter because Martin Brodeur dropped out. During the skills competition the night before DiPietro injured his hip during the shootout competition. DiPietro continued to play until the Islanders no longer had a chance to make the playoffs. On March 19, 2008, it was announced that DiPietro would miss the remainder of the 2007-08 season because of surgery on his hip.

2008–13[edit]

On June 3, 2008, DiPietro went on a Sirius satellite radio show being hosted by "Bubba the Love Sponge," where he told Bubba he would be undergoing knee surgery later that day. The surgery was done on the meniscus in his left knee. DiPietro sat out the first four games of the 2008–09 season (or, controversially, was on the bench as the backup) before starting the team's fifth game in Florida. He played two games after that, but left after the first period his third game back. After that, he was placed on injured reserve for an "undisclosed lower body injury." On November 1, it was announced DiPietro had undergone another knee surgery after injuring his meniscus. It is unknown whether it is the same knee that was operated on earlier that year. DiPietro returned to the team on December 26, 2008. He won his first game back and earned an assist, which broke Billy Smith's team record for points by a goaltender. On January 20, 2009, Islanders General Manager Garth Snow announced that DiPietro would miss the rest of the 2008–09 NHL season due to post-arthroscopic surgical swelling in his right knee.

On January 8, 2010, DiPietro returned from injury and in a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars. His last start of 2010 came against the Carolina Hurricanes on February 6. DiPietro earned his fifth loss in seven starts, as the Islanders fell 3-1. On February 13, he was listed as day-to-day with the flu, and less than a month later, swelling in his left-knee caused him to be placed on the injured reserve list effective March 2, 2010, and did not return for the rest of the season.

He started the 2010–11 year apparently healthy and worked in a "platoon" tandem with Dwayne Roloson. On December 21, 2010, he was placed on Injured Reserve due to knee swelling. He returned in December, though due to the strong play of Roloson, he was primarily used as a backup. He made his first start since returning on December 29 in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. DiPietro and the Islanders defeated Pittsburgh in a 2-1 Shootout decision behind the sharp play of DiPietro. On December 31, the Islanders traded Roloson to the Tampa Bay Lightning, confirming the starting job for DiPietro. On February 2, 2011, In his first game against the Penguins since his shootout win, DiPietro engaged in a rare "goaltender fight" against Pittsburgh's Brent Johnson in the final seconds of the game. DiPietro went down after Johnson landed a single blow to the face. Two days after the fight it was announced that DiPietro will be out 4–6 weeks with facial fractures and knee swelling.[7] It is not known if the knee swelling was from the fight or another reason. DiPietro returned shortly to finish the season, wearing the old helmet and cage combo, worn by former Islanders goaltender Chris Osgood.

The start of the 2011–12 season featured DiPietro in a three-way tandem with Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov. Due to a strong pre-season and his performances in DiPietro's absence the previous year, Montoya started the first two games and Rick was the backup. During practice for the Islanders' third game, DiPietro took a hard shot to his mask from Brian Rolston, which concussed him and sidelined him indefinitely. DiPietro returned to action in late October, returning to the more conventional one piece goaltender mask he sported for the majority of his career. On November 5, 2011 DiPietro made 25 saves to earn his first win of the 2011-12 season. Shortly after, he injured his groin and was again out indefinitely; he later required surgery to repair a hernia in the area, sidelining him for the remainder of the season.

After playing only 3 games in the lockout shortened 2012–13 season, DiPietro was waived by the Islanders and was sent to AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He had eight years remaining on his NHL contract.[8] DiPietro started his first game as a member of the Sound Tigers, on March 1, 2013. He allowed 2 goals on the first two shots of the game and five in the first 20 minute period. He did not return from the locker room for the second period of play. The game ended 7-3 in favor of Bridgeport's rivals, the Connecticut Whale.

2013–present[edit]

Following the 2012–13 season, it was announced on July 1, 2013, that he would be placed on unconditional waivers and have the remainder of his contract bought out on a compliance, bringing an end to the 2000 first overall draft pick's career with the New York Islanders and possibly the NHL.[9] On, October 26, 2013, DiPietro signed a professional tryout contract with the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers,[10] and on October 30, 2013, he played his first game with the Checkers, stopping 25 of 29 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins.[11] On November 26, 2013, the Checkers released him from his tryout contract.[12]

International play[edit]

Played for United States in:

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1997–98 U.S. National Development Team USDP 43 19 18 0 2519 124 1 3.18 3 2 1 179 7 1 2.35
1998–99 U.S. National Development Team USHL 30 22 6 1 1733 67 3 2.32 .907
1999–00 Boston University HE 30 18 5 5 1791 73 1 2.45 .913
2000–01 New York Islanders NHL 20 3 15 1 1083 63 0 3.49 .878
2000–01 Chicago Wolves IHL 14 4 5 2 778 44 0 3.39 .880
2001–02 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 59 30 22 7 3472 134 4 2.32 .913 20 12 8 1270 45 3 2.13 .906
2002–03 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 34 16 10 8 2044 73 3 2.14 .924 5 2 3 299 10 1 2.01 .925
2002–03 New York Islanders NHL 10 2 5 2 585 29 0 2.97 .894 1 0 0 15 0 0 0.00 1.000
2003–04 New York Islanders NHL 50 23 18 5 2844 112 5 2.36 .911 5 1 4 303 11 1 2.18 .908
2003–04 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 2 0 2 0 119 3 0 1.51 .945
2005–06 New York Islanders NHL 63 30 24 5 3572 180 1 3.02 .900
2006–07 New York Islanders NHL 62 32 19 9 3627 156 5 2.58 .919 4 1 3 236 13 0 3.30 .898
2007–08 New York Islanders NHL 63 26 28 7 3707 174 3 2.82 .902
2008–09 New York Islanders NHL 5 1 3 0 256 15 0 3.52 .892
2009–10 New York Islanders NHL 8 2 5 0 462 20 1 2.60 .901
2009–10 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 4 1 2 0 199 11 0 3.31 .883
2010–11 New York Islanders NHL 26 8 14 4 1533 88 1 3.44 .886
2011–12 New York Islanders NHL 8 3 2 3 354 22 0 3.73 .875
2012–13 SC Riessersee 2.GBun 1 0 1 0 59 3 0 3.03 .856
2012–13 New York Islanders NHL 3 0 3 0 176 12 0 4.09 .855
2012–13 Bridgeport Sound Tigers AHL 18 9 9 0 1022 50 1 2.93 .893
2013–14 Charlotte Checkers AHL 5 0 4 0 220 19 0 5.18 .846
NHL totals 318 130 136 36 18199 871 16 2.87 .902 10 2 7 554 24 1 2.60 .904

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-Hockey East Rookie Team 1999–00
All-Hockey East Second Team 1999–00

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Darren Haydar
Hockey East Rookie of the Year
1999–00
Succeeded by
Chuck Kobasew
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Patrik Štefan
NHL first overall draft pick
2000
Succeeded by
Ilya Kovalchuk
Preceded by
Kristián Kudroč
New York Islanders first round pick
2000
Succeeded by
Raffi Torres