I'm not gonna do it. No breathless updates on the latest tea leave regarding Rick DiPietro's health. No urgent memos on additional surgeries. No chasing rumors of online comments referring to published stories with official "no comments." Nuh-uh. Spent a season doing that -- we all did -- including constantly restating my convictions about: 1) the foolishness of any 15-year contract, much less one for a butterfly goaltender, and 2) the wisdom of not worrying about DiPietro -- of putting him out of sight, out of mind, until one day you happen to see him on the ice, at the NHL level, delivering NHL performance. If we're lucky.
#39 / Goalie / New York Islanders
Sep 19, 1981
Ask again later
Damn All-Star skills competition
You no doubt heard Chris Botta report the franchise goalie has yet to be cleared for workouts, here on Aug. 24, when last official word from the so-tight-lipped-you'd-think-HIPAA-were-their-Bible Islanders was that he would resume skating this month. [Update: DiPietro's response via Newsday: "on schedule." Botta's response-to-the-response: "Which schedule?"] Which is par for the course, since no club projection about DiPietro has ever been on time, ever -- and that includes when he'd arrive at the NHL and when he'd be a legit #1 (Thanks, Mad Mike. You were a gift that keeps on giving.). I'm frankly glad DiPietro was able to achieve #1 status and carry the club before his knee went south.
We know that even if Garth Snow doesn't feel compelled to share more health information than he did last year about the entertainment product we pay for, he's at least learned not to trust rosy projections about said product's health. Enter Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron for now, Mikko Koskinen for tomorrow, and Anders Nilsson for down the line -- all in one summer.
And for me, even though in depth chart discussions I entertained the conditionals of "if DiPietro comes back healthy this year" and "when he is ready and Biron is traded in March" ... once the Islanders brought in not one, but two, legit NHL goalies, as a fan I stopped worrying about it. The club could come out and contradict Botta's story tomorrow [Update: heh, like clockwork], and it wouldn't change my position one bit. It's not healthy for fan or player to fuss about what really demanded long-term patience from the beginning, even though short-term interests directed otherwise.
So I wish DiPietro the best. I wish his biggest fans profound resolution. I hope he salvages some prime years yet -- heck, maybe even many years, who knows? He's too young to write off -- but I'm not spending another moment worrying about whether or when he'll come back until I see it with my own two eyes, in the standards expected of an NHL goaltender.
Where I'm from, they cheesily call that the "Show-Me" attitude, yet it serves one well: You'll believe it when you see it; no point fretting about it until you do.