DiPietro: ‘I definitely want to play’ in the NHL

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The New York Islanders finally did what seemed inevitable, buying out star-crossed goalie Rick DiPietro on Wednesday.

Many believe this will represent the end of the line for the 31-year-old netminder, but he told New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple that he isn’t ready to hang up his skates.

“I definitely want to play,” DiPietro said.

The injury-ravaged goalie insists he’s healthier than he’s been in a long time.

That’s going to be a hard sell. Just check out his games played total since everything fell apart following the 2007-08 season, his lone All-Star campaign:

2008-09: five games played
09-10: 8 GP
10-11: 26 GP
11-12: 8 GP
12-13: 3 GP

Part of last season’s low workload had to do with spending most of his time in the AHL, but that’s still a rough run, especially since his save percentage peaked at .900 in 2009-10.

DiPietro expressed gratitude to the Islanders organization, even if he’s sad to leave when the team seems to be on an upward trend.

“The Isles are finally (turning a corner) and the most disappointing part is that I won’t be a part of it,” DiPietro said. It was a great 13 years … I can’t say how much I appreciate everything Charles (Wang) and the Isles did for me.”