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:
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:
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.