The New York Islanders have finally put Rick DiPietro out of his misery.
The veteran goaltender, whose 15-year, $67.5 million contract will go down as one of the worst deals in the history of sports, has been placed on waivers and will be bought out by the club, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
DiPietro’s contract will now no longer count against the salary cap, but the Islanders will be forced to pay the netminder $1.5 million per year until 2029.
A native of Winthrop, Mass., DiPietro was drafted first overall out of Boston University in 2000. He inked his massive deal in 2006, just two years after becoming New York’s full-time starter, but his career began to come off the rails soon after.
DiPietro started more than 60 games in 2006-07 and 2007-08, posting respectable goals against and save percentage totals, but a rash of injuries and inconsistent play limited him to a total of just 50 games over the next five seasons. He started just three games this season (all losses) before being sent down to the Isles’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
While DiPietro floundered in the minors, the Islanders enjoyed their most successful season in years, earning their first playoff bid since 2007 with 37-year-old Evgeni Nabokov in net. Nabokov will become a free agent on July 5, but he has expressed interest in returning to Long Island next season.