5:20 pm – Conference call ended. Updated with notes and DiPietro statement
5:10 pm – The Islanders have announced that Rick DiPietro will be out for the remainder of the season.
Making an exception from team policy, the Islanders made team orthopedist Dr. Elliott Hershman available on a conference call with reporters. Also on the call was general manager Garth Snow.
Dr. Hershman provided an extensive review of DiPietro’s hip and knee surgeries and said that the goaltender’s problems this season have been with his left knee. “He has progessed slowly,” said Hershman. “He has had swelling in the knee.”
Hershman revealed that DiPietro recently consulted with the noted Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama, along with Dr. William Clancy in Birmingham. After that consultation, it was decided to shut down DiPietro for the season.
“At this time, we are not anticipating any further surgery,” said Hershman. “Right now he will have a period of rest and rehabilitation, and our hope is that he will be ready for training camp.”
- Hershman defined that period of “rest and rehabilitation” as 6-8 weeks before they may be able to make a determination if additional surgery is required.
- Hershman said DiPietro is a “diligent and dedicated player” but would not blame the goaltender’s insistence on getting back in the lineup for any setbacks. The doctor said that even if the Islanders were in the playoff hunt, he would have shut down DiPietro for the season.
- On the call, there was some questioning over the issue of DiPietro being “medically cleared to play” at points during the season. (Greg Logan is all over it). Dr. Hershman defended team staff, saying the staff was not second-guessing itself and was “cautious” throughout.
- Snow said “I don’t have any concerns at all” about DiPietro’s long-term prognosis and his ability to fulfill his 15-year contract.
- In a statement released by the team, DiPietro said, “This has been one of the most frustrating situations I have ever had to deal with, but this is the right decision for me and the team. I am confident this will allow me to make a complete recovery, be ready in time for next season and compete to my highest ability for many years to come. I’d like to thank Islanders fans for their patience and I look forward to playing in front of them next season.”
On a related note, the Edmonton Oilers have waived goaltender Dany Sabourin. The 28-year old Sabourin has some NHL experience with Vancouver and Pittsburgh. Like Wade Dubielewicz, he is regarded as a solid No. 2-3 depth goalie. If the Islanders want him, all they have to do is put in a claim. As the team with the worst record in the NHL, the Islanders have preference on the waiver wire.