photo courtesy of http://blogimages.thescore.com/
Now, it is no secret that I am not a fan of Rick Dipietro. However, this is not about that, or how his injuries have caused his skills to erode no longer making him an NHL goalie. While that is obviously vital being in a results oriented business, Rick Dipietro is more then a player for this team. He is a symbol of what the team used to be and as they move forward in the rebuild and into the Barclays Center he needs to be bought out so the Islanders can move on from that period of time.
Through the middle of the last decade, the Islanders were a fledgling mediocre team led by Dipietro. Then the injury bug struck DP, and he went from leading the team to being the butt end of every joke about the team because of the 15 year contract Charles Wang signed him to in the summer of 2006. This contract pays Dipietro 4.5 million dollars per season, which for a healthy number one NHL goalie isn't bad. However, Dipietro couldn't be further from that right now because of how his injuries effected his play.
When the NHL announced that with the new CBA agreed to last month there would be 2 compliance buyouts, many Islander fans got excited because they thought it signaled the end of Rick Dipietro without him having to haunt us like Alexei Yashin has. Not so fast, because some analysts most notably BD Gallof of hockeyindependent don't think that Dipietro will be bought out because they don't think Wang will spend more money on him then he has to. So far, this has been proven true because the team declined to buy him out during the accelerated compliance buyout period the week before this season started.
However, the team and fans alike continue to say the next step for the rebuild is playoffs. With the team looking to step up to places they haven't been in a while and create a new image as they head to Brooklyn, they need to start this summer with getting rid of the biggest symbol of what the team used be and that's Rick Dipietro.