The New York Islanders officially announced today that they’ve used a compliance buyout on 31-year-old goalie Rick DiPietro.
“It was an extremely tough decision to use the compliance buyout on Rick’s contract,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. “His drive to win games and compete at the highest level for the New York Islanders was never questioned. With Rick back at 100% health, we wish him nothing but the best as he continues to pursue his career.”
For the injury-riddled DiPietro, it means he’ll be paid $1.5 million per year through 2028-29 and is now an unrestricted free agent.
For the Isles, it means ridding themselves of a bad contract, with no long-term cap consequences.
Of course, who will be in goal for the Islanders next season remains up in the air. Inexperienced netminders Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson are currently one-two on the depth chart, with last year’s starter, Evgeni Nabokov, expected to test free agency.
The Isles had previously been mentioned in trade speculation related to Jonathan Bernier (traded to Toronto), Cory Schneider (traded to New Jersey), and Roberto Luongo (staying in Vancouver, most likely).
Pending unrestricted free-agent goalies that played significant minutes in 2013 include Ray Emery, Ilya Bryzgalov, Dan Ellis, and Anton Khudobin.