There’s another article in the works, but I had to stop the presses for this: Kevin Maher, an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, Tweeted a few notes from a candid interview with Rick DiPietro this afternoon:
-On being waived: “They ripped my heart out, stabbed it, set it on fire, and flushed it down the toilet.”
-On being part of the Islanders future: “I don’t know.”
People said, “Thank God.”
-”DiPietro also admitted injuries, losing, and fan hatred over the past 3 years made him think about killing himself at one point.”
Wow. This isn’t somebody being dramatic, people. This is a real human being feeling real human emotions caused by an over-emotional fan-base.
Rick was a steady presence for the Islanders. He may have been uncoachable, and he may have given fans a heart attack every time he attempted to play the puck, but Rick was a true NHL starting goaltender, and a good one at that.
Before the injuries, Rick had a winning record. He won 30 games twice in his career, posted a career-best 2.36 GAA in 2003-04, and made it to the All-Star game in the 2006-07 season, where at that point, he was in the Hart discussion. Hey, even in that playoff series against Tampa, Rick had a very-low 2.08 GAA, and a shutout to show for it.
All Ricky ever wanted was to do was bring another Stanly Cup to Long Island. In reality, he will probably never be able to realize that dream, not because of his contract, but because of injuries.
But, in the world we live in, people cannot look past his contract. “He’s getting paid,” says everyone, but everyone knows (or they should know) that money isn’t happiness. It helps reach happiness, but it doesn’t equal happiness.
Hell, even in a recent column from ESPN, Rick was quoted to saying :”Eveybody wants to be loved, right?” Rick wasn’t. He heard taunts during the Blue & White scrimmage from a fanbase looking for blood, even though there team made their first on-ice appearance in nearly 9 months. He was booed at the Nassau Coliseum, although he was relegated to a back-up role, and if I heard correctly, he was booed off Coliseum ice in his only start at home, although most of the goals were deflections?
Geez, what gives? Was there ever a point where we thought Rick might have been human? Could you ever imagine reaching your dream to play in the NHL, only for it to have gone horribly wrong?
The boos affected him. They hurt. He was the $60 million man, and was hated by everyone for it. It wasn’t his fault. You would have signed the same contract if it was offered to you, whether you deserved it or not….and quite frankly, I think he did deserve it. The contract length may have been outrageous, but the monetary value on a per-year-basis is just about PA Parenteau value. For a franchise goaltender, that’s a steal!
So, maybe some of us take “being a fan” a bit too seriously, and perhaps you may be doing it wrong. Over the past few seasons, the proud-Islanders fan-base has turned to mush. Blame Wang. Blame DP. Blame Milbury. Some of it’s warranted, sure, but since when did not thinking this was some kind of management conspiracy, become “drinking the Kool-Aid”? I mean, this could be the most split fan-base in the history of sports.
I believe in this team because they’re moving forward, as any other hockey team would do. They’re accumulating prospects, like any struggling team would. They demoted DP, like any other team in this situation would.
Guys and girls, we’re taking this a little out of hand. I’m going to probably take a little bit of heat for this, but that’s fine.. There will always be somebody who disagrees. I just don’t think “being a fan” must include shitting on your team for everything, including charity events, the amount they choose to donate, etc. (it’s unbelievable what some post on the Isles Facebook page).
Grow up. It’s just a game.. There’s another struggling team right down the block, if you want to go that route.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment.
Filed Under: New York Islanders
About the Author: Writes at Islanders Op-Timism. Islanders Season Ticket Holder who tends to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hofstra Graduate currently working at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates. I definitely want to end up working within the world of hockey. Blog: www.IslandersOptimism.com E-Mail: ChristopherTriantafilis@gmail.com Twitter: @ChrisTriants