DiPietro was demoted on Feb. 22, as Newsday’s Arthur Staple reported. Today, News 12 Long Island reporter Kevin Maher released excerpts from an interview with the goaltender that involved suicidal thoughts during his time with the Islanders:
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."— Kevin Maher (@KMaherNews12) February 28, 2013
DiPietro also admitted injuries, losing and fan hatred over the past 3 years made him think about killing himself at one point.— Kevin Maher (@KMaherNews12) February 28, 2013
However, The New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis reported that, in context, the comments regarding suicide were not to be taken literally. Instead, he was emphasizing how much his wife helped him when his NHL career did not go as planned:
DP: "I’m just trying to bring light to fact of how important my wife has been. It’s been a trying last couple years." (cont.) #Isles— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 28, 2013
DP: "There have been times that I've been depressed, and I don't know where I'd be without the support of my wife." #Isles— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 28, 2013
DP didn't make fun of suicide, instead told @kmahernews12 how important his wife was to him, and w/o her, "I might have driven into a tree."— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 28, 2013
In response to DiPietro’s comments, New York general manager Garth Snow said:
We are aware of Rick’s comments today and the severity of them. We will handle them internally as we do with all player matters. This is an opportunity for Rick to play lots of games in Bridgeport, via Islanders.NHL.com.
DiPietro was the subject of scorn and ridicule from the Islanders fanbase in recent years. In 2006, management signed him to a monstrous 15-year, $67.5 million deal.
Since then, multiple injuries have kept him sidelined and he has not performed up to the expectations set by his massive contract. After starting 63 games during the 2007-08 season, DiPietro has only appeared on the ice 50 times in the past five seasons.
His career has taken a tragic turn in recent years, and he is reasonably upset over being cut from the team with which he spent his entire NHL career. But at 31 years old, he still has a future that may lie with another franchise.
While Islanders fans have been upset over his inability to perform in recent years, DiPietro is still just trying to make a living, and the recent comments shed light on how being in the public eye affects athletes' personal lives—especially the ones in New York.