Well, if you weren’t expecting it to happen, it happened.
The Islanders have taken their first step in waving goodbye to their former franchise goaltender by actually waiving him — placing him on them, that is.
Yep. Rick DiPietro is on waivers. Let that sink in for a second.
The announcement came this morning and, according to Arthur Staple, comes with the intent of sending DP to the minors and recalling Bridgeport goalie Kevin Poulin. KP has a .906 save percentage and 3.16 GAA through 31 games played, and most recently coughed up four goals en route to a 5-3 loss to Providence (though he also made 36 saves). DiPietro’s arrival in Bridgeport may (oh, hell — will) put more pressure on ECHL call-up Kenny Reiter to perform well and consistently.
While ultimately, making this move is in the Isles’ best interest, I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. His journey in the NHL has pretty much come to an end, and while yes, he was stubborn for trying to come back when it was clear he wouldn’t be able to… you can’t fault him for trying. How would you feel as a former No. 1 draft pick, knowing that no one had any more faith in you, but still trying to make it right? How would you react, being offered millions of dollars and job security for the almost the next quarter of your life? Pretty sure I would have signed on the dotted line, too. And despite everyone’s snarking and naysaying, he didn’t look like a perpetually broken goalie for at least parts of his two starts.
I wish I would’ve seen DiPietro redeem himself and become the goalie that everyone had imagined he’d be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will happen anymore. But maybe this is the clean break the Isles need. Now, they can focus on the future for real.