NHL Notes: Islanders to buy out Rick DiPietro

NHL Notes: Islanders to buy out Rick DiPietro

July 2, 2013, 11:00 am
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NEW YORK -- An Islanders team official confirmed that the team will buy out the remaining eight years of oft-injured goalie Rick DiPietro's contract.

The 31-year-old DiPietro, the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NHL draft, will be placed on waivers Tuesday before the compliance buyout can be used, the Islanders official told The Associated Press on Monday night on condition of anonymity.

The club will have to pay DiPietro $1.5 million for each of the next 16 years -- double the years left on his original 15-year pact with New York. That amount won't count against the Islanders' salary cap.

DiPietro didn't immediately respond to a text message sent to him by the AP on Monday night. He has been limited to 50 NHL games since the 2008-09 season, plagued by multiple concussions and hip and knee injuries that required surgery.

Last season, he played only three games with New York. He allowed 12 goals in those appearances and didn't earn a win. DiPietro was then waived and sent down to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League. He went 9-9 there (see full story).

-The Associated Press

Devils: Clarkson rejects offer, testing free agency
David Clarkson will hit the open market when free agency opens Friday.

According to The Star-Ledger, Clarkson rejected the Devils latest offer and the 6-foot-1, 200-pound winger is headed for free agency. Players can start negotiating with other teams on Wednesday, but can’t officially sign until Friday.

“We have no other choice right now,” Clarkson’s agent, Pat Morris, said. “On Sunday at the draft, the day David’s contract expired, we received a proposal from Lou. Unfortunately it did not result in a contract.”

Morris also said he expects the Devils to come back with another offer on Friday, and that should Clarkson leave New Jersey, he would become just another notable player signing elsewhere in free agency. Zach Parise departed last year for Minnesota.

Clarkson, 29, scored 15 goals and added nine assists in 48 games for the Devils last season. In 2011-12, Clarkson scored a career-high 30 regular season goals and contributed three more in the playoffs -- the Devils lost to the Kings in the Stanley Cup.

The Flyers are reportedly interested in Clarkson and he’s the bigger, grittier winger that the team is said to be looking for. But the Flyers are strapped by the cap and have higher priorities -- like finding a goalie to compete with Steve Mason.

The Flyers may not be able to afford a bidding war for Clarkson.

Islanders: Tim Thomas open to NHL return
Veteran goalie Tim Thomas is interested in resuming his career after taking a season off.

The player's agent, Bill Zito, confirmed on Monday night that Thomas asked him to explore what teams might be interested in the two-time Vezina Trophy winner once the NHL's free agency period opens Friday.

"We talked this morning and he asked me to see if there's any options," Zito said by phone. "So I'll be exploring his options to see what could be out there."

Zito stressed that Thomas wants to gauge any interest before determining whether he'll return to play.

Thomas, now 39, spent last season as a member of the New York Islanders in name only. The Islanders acquired Thomas in a trade with Boston after the Bruins suspended him for failing to report to training camp.

The Islanders traded for Thomas to have the final year of his contract count for $5 million against their salary cap to meet league's mandated $44 million minimum.

As it turns out, Thomas' apparent intention to resume playing comes at the same time the Islanders continue to shuffle goalies. An Islanders official confirmed the team will buy out the remaining eight years of Rick DiPietro's contract (see full story).

-The Associated Press