When 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.