Longtime and oft-injured former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro is returning to the ice.
He's signing a PTO for the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes.
There have been a spate of injuries to goalies over the past week, and the Hurricanes organization is among the victims, most recently with Cam Ward suffering an injury that's expected to cost him a few weeks at minimum, with an MRI now on his schedule. Backup Anton Khudobin has also been fighting an injury.
Carolina beat writer Chip Alexander of the News & Observer broke the news on Twitter and elicited confirmation quotes from Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford:
Rutherford: "It's a safety net and could give us more depth. At this point it's a PTO. We'll see what kind of shape he's in, how he plays."— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) October 26, 2013
[Fuller story from Alexander here.]
One thing was clear through Rick DiPietro's many, arduous rehab and comeback attempts from his many injuries -- both fluke and chronic -- with the Islanders: He was in shape.
It's the "how he plays" part that ultimately brought about a buyout by the Islanders this past summer.
But, way too much has been written about DiPietro here over the years -- his Comments About per Games Played must be the highest in this site's history.
So we'll just leave it at this: Someone is giving him a chance to make a comeback. Free of the burden of his contract that his body could no longer live up to here, this PTO is probably a better environment to try it in. Good luck.