NHL’s Islanders Place Former Top Pick Rick DiPietro on Waivers

The New York Islanders waived Rick DiPietro, demoting the goaltender whose 15-year, $67.5 million contract was once the longest in National Hockey League history.

The team made the announcement today on its website. If the 31-year-old DiPietro clears waivers, he will be assigned to the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Newsday reported, citing two unidentified people with knowledge of the decision.

The team has no plans to bring him back to the NHL this season, Newsday said.

DiPietro is owed $4.5 million in the eighth year of his contract, according to the newspaper, the longest deal in NHL history when it was signed in 2006. Any team that claims DiPietro off waivers would become responsible for the remainder of the contract.

The top pick in the 2000 NHL draft, DiPietro has battled knee, hip and groin injuries throughout his 11-year career. He has played just 50 games in the last five seasons and is 0-3 this year with a .855 save percentage and 4.09 goals against average. In 318 career games, DiPietro has a .902 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average. His record is 130-136-28, with eight ties and 16 shootout wins.

Evgeni Nabokov is the regular goalie for the Islanders (7-9-1), who are in last place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.