Finally, the New York Islanders are making one of the smartest moves they can make this season. Whether or not you think that it's come too late, the team has officially announced what most fans and media members have been thinking for the last month or so -- they are shutting down franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro for the rest of the season.
For a guy as competitive as DiPietro, it's got to be a tough decision, but it's good to see him and the team make the logical one. It's a simple math equation, really. Last place team + star goaltender's complications with knee surgery = don't try to be a hero, big guy.
DiPietro has a 15 year contract and is the lifeblood of the franchise, both on the ice and at the box office. No one sells more tickets for the team and no one has greater name recognition on Long Island (sorry, Bill Guerin). It's as obvious a decision as you can get -- one that apparently took the consultation of the famed Dr. James Andrews to make. With this season clearly lost for the Islanders, there is no reason to take a chance on DiPietro's health.
With each passing season, it's looking more and more likely that the longest contract in NHL history will be a failed experiment. Say what you will, but things don't look good. But on a day in America that's all about change and hope, how about a little change in luck with DiPietro's health next season?