The Rick DiPietro mistake is officially over.
The Islanders goaltender who broke through as a star, earned a massive contract and then regressed to a middling backup will reportedly be amnestied by the team.
Newsday was the first outlet to report the news late Monday.
DiPietro will be placed on waivers Tuesday in the first step of the amnesty process. Once he clears waivers, the team will use the compliance buyout which pays DiPietro $1.5 million per season for 16 years. The money will not count against the team’s salary cap.
The NHL instituted the compliance buyout, or amnesty, procedure in the new collective bargaining agreement ratified in January prior to the start of the lockout-delayed season. Teams could use the buyout before or after the season.
DiPietro, 31, was the No. 1 overall pick in 2000 and early returns were very favorable. He was the team’s starter for the four seasons from 2003-08 and had an over .500 record in all but his final season for teams which struggled. He signed a massive 15-year, $67.5 million deal in Sept. 2006 at the height of his career.
But injuries and poor performance derailed his career almost immediately. He dealt with hip and knee surgeries and even sustained facial fractures in a fight with Penguins goalie Brent Johnson in 2011.
He played in just 13 games combined in 2008-09 and 2009-10. He started 26 games in 2010-11, but then became a total afterthought the last two seasons. He even spent time with the team’s AHL franchise in Bridgeport last season. He had a record of 14-27-7 over his final five seasons.
The Islanders only have one goalie on their roster at the moment. Last year’s starter Evgeni Nabokov is a free agent, making the young Kevin Poulin their only goaltender. They did trade for former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas last season, but he had already stated he was taking the 2013 season off. The move was made for financial reasons, to push the Islanders over the salary floor. He is now a free agent, but has expressed a desire to return next season.
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