Rick DiPietro may be getting another chance to play in the NHL.
The former No. 1 pick has signed a professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League, the top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes could use some help between the pipes with starting goaltender Cam Ward being placed on injured reserve on Friday, and backup goalie Anton Khudobin was already on IR with a lower-body injury.
After being demoted by the Islanders, DiPietro spent the 2012-2013 season with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 18 games, the 32-year-old was 9-9-0, with a 2.93 goal against average and .893 save percentage.
Plagued by injuries and inconsistent play, DiPietro never lived up to his monstrous 15-year, $67.5 million deal with the New York Islanders, and in July the team bought out his contract. The veteran netminder will be given $1.5 million annually for the next 16 years from the Islanders.
“It’s a safety net and could give us more depth,” Canes GM Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News and Observer’s Chip Alexander. “At this point it’s a PTO. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in, how he plays.”