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Bust or Glory? A Look Back at Rick DiPietro’s 15-Year Contract

Rick Dipietro (Getty Images)

The question on every Islander fans mind this season is, “Who will start as goalie?”  For the past five years we have depended on injury-prone Rick DiPietro to take the team to the playoffs and possibly a Stanley Cup.

The Contract

In 2006, Rick DiPietro signed a 15-year contract worth $65.5 million. Nearing the five year anniversary, things are looking rocky for the net-minder.  The year of his contract extension (2006), DiPietro had an outstanding season, playing in 62 of the 82 games.  As the years went on, DiPietro’s play decreased.  Come the 2008-2009 season, DiPietro only played five games due to injury. In 2009-2010, he had only played eight games and finished the season with a losing record. This past season, the New York Islanders had multiple goalie issues. DiPietro had only played 26 games with a record of 8-14.  This led to the Islanders playing a record-breaking six goalies last season.

With ten years left in Rick Dipietro’s tenure with the Islanders, the question is if he can last that long.  The Islanders have a history of drafting top stars that don’t quite play to their projected ability.  When the Islanders drafted DiPietro, it was a sure thing that the young net-minder would take the team to the top. The Islanders gave up All-Star and Olympian Roberto Luongo for DiPietro. After watching this years playoffs, we can see who got the better deal out of that one.

Other Contenders

The length of the contract is unnecessary.  DiPietro had pretty good stats in the beginning of his career, but they were not amazing. With the organization built around a goalie who barely plays, the Islanders have been struggling the past few seasons to make the playoffs (only making it once since DiPietro’s extension in 06-07).  If he can get healthy this season, and stay healthy, the Islanders might have a shot.  The talent in front of Ricky could be the team that gets it done.  It’s all a matter of keeping a goaltender that can stay healthy and make the saves when needed.

DiPietro does have tough competition that is also fighting for his spot as starting goalie. Kevin Poulin came up big last season when the Islanders needed him.  A sudden injury plagued him as well and the Islanders had to turn to Al Montoya, who went 9-5-5 (Poulin had gone 4-2-1). Evgeni Nabakov was also claimed off waivers last year. He is set to report to training camp before the 2011-12 season begins.

Things are looking up for the Islanders this season. Long Island has the talent to take them far, but the only question is who will stand between the iron? This could be the telling  year for Rick DiPietro to shine or have another season full of injuries.

The Islanders open their season Oct. 8 at home against the Florida Panthers.  We will see who the team plays as their starting goalie and who will come up big.

About John Caruso

Die hard Islander, Yankee, Giants, Lakers and Pro Wrestling fan/blogger/writer. Follow me on Twitter @yoneboii

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2 comments for “Bust or Glory? A Look Back at Rick DiPietro’s 15-Year Contract”

  1. New Post: Bust or Glory? A Look Back at Rick DiPietro’s 15-Year Contract

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 24, 2011, 6:23 pm
  2. RT @TopsyRT: Bust or Glory? A Look Back at Rick DiPietro's 15-Year Contract

    Posted by John Mazzocchi | August 24, 2011, 8:02 pm

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