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Rick DiPietro is the latest New York Islander to head to Europe during the NHL lockout.
Well what is taking Matt Moulson, Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey so long? They're very nearly the only attractive locked-out New York Islanders yet to secure work overseas while the NHL fights with the Players Association over who gets to have more of your money.
The latest Islander to jump, as rumored yesterday and made official today: Rick DiPietro. Yes, Rick DiPietro is headed to Germany's 2nd-tier league to play with SC Riessersee. [Club announcement here. Google Translate here. Riffs about "legend" in the press release here.] His first game is expected to be Sunday against Landshut Cannibals.
Before you make your 2nd-tier jokes (too late, no doubt), DiPietro follows fellow NHLer Matt D'Agostini of the St. Louis Blues to Riessersee. In Europe, as you probably know, teams are subject to promotion and relegation within the tiers when they win or tank their league. (Riessersee narrowly avoided relegation last year; the poor Fischtown were relegated instead.)
Riessersee is currently in 13th -- last place -- with one regulation win in seven games. They've conceded the most goals against in the league. They could probably use DiPietro's help.
(Though, given DiPietro's ability to sport a fantastic mountain man beard, what "I wish Miro Satan were a New Jersey Devil just once"-oriented fan wouldn't prefer to see DiPietro in a Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg lineup instead?)
Anyway, Riessersee is based in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria at Germany's southern border, so who knows -- depending on how long this lockout lasts, maybe there will be opportunities for poker with the Switzerland-based Mark Streit and John Tavares or the Austria-based Michael Grabner.
What of that Contract? What of It?
The next question: Who is insuring the infamous 15-year contract -- if anyone is insuring it -- as it enters year its seventh season? Not even the esteemed Handelsblatt has the answer on that one. Wild speculation: Perhaps there is an insane donor, perhaps his special deal is already marked by pre-existing health conditions, or perhaps at this point, with so many promising goalies in the Islanders system and getting playing time, it's more important for DiPietro to just show he can play and stay healthy.
With his new team, he shouldn't lack for work.