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Rick DiPietro says struggles with Islanders led to suicidal thoughts, takes it back

Rick-DiPietro-IslandersWhen the New York Islanders signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year contract back in 2006, it appeared that he would be tending the net for the team for well over a decade. Here we are more than six years later, and DiPietro has been assigned to the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after clearing waivers last week.

The Islanders have not had a winning season or made the playoffs since 2006. The past three seasons have presented some particularly trying times for DiPietro, as the 31-year-old has battled injuries, poor play and a fan base that has turned on him. DiPietro has played in only 50 games since the 2007-2008 season, and he recently told News 12 Long Island’s Kevin Maher (via the NY Daily News) that there was a point where his struggles led to suicidal thoughts.

“DiPietro told me Isles waiving him felt like, ‘they ripped my heart out, stabbed it, set it on fire and flushed it down the toilet,’” Maher wrote on Twitter while giving followers a preview of an interview that will air Thursday evening. “DiPietro also admitted injuries, losing and fan hatred over the past three years made him think about killing himself at one point.”

However, Dipietro later told the Brett Cyragalis of the NY Post that he was being “100 percent” facetious with his comment. Instead, he said he was trying to stress how important the support of his wife has been throughout these difficult seasons.

“I’m just trying to bring light to fact of how important my wife has been,” DiPietro told Cyragalis. It’s been a trying last couple years. There have been times that I’ve been depressed, and I don’t know where I’d be without the support of my wife.”

He also said that if not for his wife, he “might have driven into a tree.” Perhaps DiPietro should have been more clear in his interview with Maher, because claiming you had suicidal thoughts is nothing to be “facetious” about. If you’re going to exaggerate, there are other ways to do it other than claiming you thought about killing yourself if it didn’t actually happen.

Blue Jackets reportedly turned down offer of Islanders’ entire draft for No. 2 pick

Of all the prospects that have come through the NHL and either flourished or disappeared, very few have been accompanied by higher expectations than 18-year-old defenseman Ryan Murray. He may not be as well-known as a Sidney Crosby or a Joe Thornton, but from the sound of it two teams wanted Murray so badly they were willing to wager their entire franchise to draft him.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets turned down pretty much the biggest draft day offer you can possibly turn down before they drafted Murray on Sunday.

How highly did the Blue Jackets value defenseman Ryan Murray before taking him with the No. 2 overall pick in Friday’s first round of the NHL Draft? Enough to turn down an eye-opening offer from the New York Islanders, who, according to numerous NHL sources, offered all of their picks — one in each round — for the right to move up from No. 4 to No. 2 for Murray.

That’s right, for the Jackets’ No. 2 pick, the Islanders offered pick Nos. 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185. The bounty would have given the Jackets the following picks: 4, 31, 34, 62, 65, 95, 103, 125, 152, 155, 182 and 185. And if that weren’t enough, the Jackets could have had the Kings’ No. 30 if they wanted it.

Portzline also said that Columbus GM Scott Howson offered “no comment” when asked about the report Sunday night, so obviously he didn’t feel the need to deny it. If this is true, the question is which team wanted Murray more — the one who offered seven picks for him or the one who turned them down? Apparently this kid is the next Ray Bourque.

H/T Eye on Hockey
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Islanders Hosting Viewing Party to Celebrate Brawl Game Against Penguins

The New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins played in one of the ugliest games of the NHL season February 11th. The problems began when the teams fought towards the end of Pittsburgh’s 3-0 win February 2nd. The goalies decided to fight and Brent Johnson knocked out Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro with one punch. The punch fractured DiPietro’s face and caused him to miss six weeks. When the teams met nine days later, the Islanders were out for revenge.

They began dropping gloves with ridiculous frequency, sparking fights whenever possible. The teams combined for an absurd 342 penalty minutes and the NHL fined the Islanders $100,000 for their poor conduct. Now the organization plans to celebrate the disgraceful evening (which they won 9-3).

Here’s the announcement from the Islanders’ website:

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