Do you believe in miracles? On the 33rd anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the Islanders made a transaction that got the hockey world buzzing. The team has officially placed goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers, as seen on the team's site.
Assuming DiPietro clears waivers without a team claiming him – let's be honest, it'd take a miracle larger than the Miracle on Ice for that to happen – he will report to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. Barring an injury, there's no plan for the team to recall him in 2013.
Go ahead – get your laughter out. The DiPietro saga took yet another strange and unbelievable turn.
DiPietro still has eight years left on his massive 15-year, $67.5 million contract he was awarded back in 2006. Prior to being waived, DiPietro carried an average cap hit of $4.5 million. Once he clears waivers and heads to Bridgeport, all but $900,000 of his cap hit will stay on the books for the Islanders, as seen in a report from Newsday.
How has DiPietro looked this season? About as good as the contract he carries. In three starts he's 0-3-0 with a 4.10 GAA and a save percentage of .855%. That may seem like a small sample of games to base an opinion on, but when you examine his stats from 2011-12 (3.73 GAA, .876 SV%) and 2010-11 (3.44 GAA, ..886 SV%) you can see this isn't an isolated trend.
The DiPietro move effectively means the Islanders will be paying two goaltenders – the other being Tim Thomas – to not play in the NHL.
The Islanders will roll with Evgeni Nabokov between the pipes while Kevin Poulin will come up from the AHL to be the team's #2 in net.