Flying below the radar since his short stint with the Charlotte Checkers (the Hurricanes AHL affiliate) earlier this season, former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro has been seen getting his reps in around Iceworks, the Islanders practice facility.
The practice rink is where former players are sometimes spotted -- and on occasion, re-signed -- as agents seek to create buzz for a deal.
Although DiPietro had a somewhat disappointing .846 save percentage and modestly unsightly 5.18 GAA in five games for the Checkers, it appears he still hasn't given up on his eventual return to the NHL. DiPietro did have a much better stint last year for the Sound Tigers, going 9-9 with a 2.93 GAA and eclipsing the .893 save percentage threshold, marked by his first professional shutout since 2010-11.
Much like Radek Martinek (who rejoined the team) and Alexei Yashin (who was always one rumor short) of seasons past, DiPietro lives in the area and has a close relationship with the Isles front office.
But would the Islanders, with the league's worst save percentage at .891, really bring their former All-Star goalie back? As Garth Snow has stated multiple times in the past, he is "more then willing to kick the tires on anyone," and will leave "no stone unturned" in his search for talent.
One would imagine with Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson, Parker Milner and Evgeni Nabokov under contract that there wouldn't be much room on the team as the season winds down. But Nilsson and Poulin are pending RFAs, while Nabokov will be a UFA following this season. Depending on how everything falls, there could at the very least be a need for a veteran backup for Bridgeport and a candidate to win an NHL job next season.
Or maybe we are a player agent. And maybe it's just April 1st.
(If you haven't looked at your calendar yet...it's April 1, April Fools' Day in some circles.)