Arthur Staple of Newsday reported the news earlier this morning:
#Isles will place Rick DiPietro on waivers at noon.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 22, 2013
DiPietro has appeared in just 50 games since the start of the 2008-09 season. His promising career has been derailed by injuries, and New York's decision to waive him shows exactly how far he's fallen on the organization's depth chart.
He's gone 0-3 with a 4.10 goals against average and .855 save percentage in three brutal starts this season, prompting the move. It's clear he's no longer the goalie the Islanders hoped they were getting when they took him 13 years ago.
Making matters worse, DiPietro remains under contract through the 2020-21 season at a cap hit of $4.5 million. It would be the surprise of the century if another team decides to claim him, especially given the way he's performed this season.
Knowing that, Staple states the team's plan is to send him to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL after he clears waivers.
Intent is to send DiPietro to Bridgeport. Kevin Poulin to be recalled once DiPietro clears. #Isles— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 22, 2013
Evgeni Nabokov will continue to carry the load between the pipes for New York. while Kevin Poulin will take over backup duties despite lackluster numbers in Bridgeport (3.16 GAA and .906 save percentage), further showing where DiPietro stands.
There's a chance the oft-injured goalie will return to the Islanders at some point down the line, but expectations will remain incredibly low if he does. All the team can hope is he stays healthy for an extended period and rediscovers some old form.
The fanbase won't be holding its breath waiting for that to happen. It knows better by now.