The New York Islanders put veteran goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers Friday afternoon, according to the team, but don’t expect anyone to claim him and take on the eight years and $36 million left on his contract (via Capgeek).
The former No. 1 overall pick from Boston University signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the Islanders before the 2006-07 season, which will expire in the summer of 2021.
DiPietro is a talented player, but injuries have prevented him from being able to stay healthy and play on a consistent basis. Over the last four-plus seasons (including 2013), he has played in only 50 games. In three games this year, DiPietro is 0-3 with 12 goals against and an .855 save percentage.
What does this waiver move mean for the Islanders?
When no one claims him, DiPietro will go to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, which is the Islanders’ AHL affiliate. Players on a one-way contract like DiPietro can only be sent to the AHL if they clear waivers first, which gives every team a chance to claim him and possibly offer him an opportunity for an NHL job.
The Islanders would be paying DiPietro until he is 48 years old if they buy him out in the summer, which isn’t an unfamiliar situation for the team because it won’t be done with former star Alexei Yashin’s buyout until he is almost 42 years old.
Friday’s events are another sad chapter in DiPietro’s career. Bad luck with injuries ultimately prevented him from developing into the star No. 1 goalie he had the potential to become. Hopefully DiPietro can stay healthy and earn an NHL job for the 2013-14 season because his Islanders career is likely over.