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Rick DiPietroIf anyone has watched goaltender Rick DiPietro as close as I have since the infamous All-Star F-Bomb, the news last night that DiPietro’s season is over due to his second consecutive hip surgery isn’t all too surprising. Thankfully, the surgically repaired left hip of last season is good to go, it’s now his so called “good” right hip that is in need of attention.

DiPietro’s surgery was scheduled for today in Vail, Colorado at the hands of Dr. Marc Philippon, the well known hip surgeon that completed his first surgery, the surgery on now GM Garth Snow two seasons ago and most recently – veteran Mike Sillinger. The decision to call the remainder of this season off was an easy one to make, DiPietro has obviously not been 100% for quite sometime and was likely pushing himself due to the now impossible feat of making the post-season. So to get an early jump on the surgery and the recovery period is a big positive and will help out more than hurt.

Greg Logan brings to light numerous valid points, as always that are a must read in his blog entry today. Here are a few quotes that stand out best:

But with so much riding on DiPietro, the Islanders have to learn they can’t ride him game after game. As much as he admires Devils workhorse Martin Brodeur, it just might be that DiPietro isn’t built to maintain the ironman pace of a Brodeur, who played 78 games last season and has been between the pipes for 68 of the Devils’ 74 games so far this season.

This one in particular:

Whether the Islanders re-sign Dubielewicz, who will be a free agent, or bring someone else in as DiPietro’s backup, it’s time the coaching staff made it clear to the franchise goaltender that he is going to be rested on a regular basis. No more riding him into the ground. The thing is that he needs the mental break as much as the physical break, and if he gets it, DiPietro might attain a level of consistency that is necessary for him and the franchise to take the next step toward true contender status.

I just can’t wait for further contract backlash given DiPietro’s emergence of an oft-injured player and how we could potentially be stuck with a player forced to retire early regardless of the remaining contract years. Either way, DiPietro came to camp lean and mean this year, in the best shape of his career – so I don’t expect anything different next year.

Several of my blogging constituents take on the task of DiPietro’s butterfly style of play as the potential root cause of the hip problem, be sure to check them out when you get the chance!