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Breaking news here, the Islanders just called a press conference regarding the status of goaltender Rick DiPietro. He has now been shutdown until next season – hopefully giving him ample time to recover and reach 100% by the start of 09/10. Here is the press release:

The New York Islanders have announced that goaltender Rick DiPietro will miss the remainder of the 2008-09 season. Team doctors have referred to the decision as precautionary due to swelling in the knee that DiPietro had arthroscopic knee surgery on to repair a meniscus injury on October 31st. DiPietro is expected to resume skating this summer in preparation for the 2009-10 season.

“After extensive consultation we feel this decision is in the best interest for Rick and the team,” said Garth Snow, New York Islanders General Manager. “This will allow Rick ample time to make a full recovery for next year.”

Added DiPietro: “This has been one of the most frustrating situations I have ever had to deal with, but this is the right decision for me and the team.” “I am confident this will allow me to make a complete recovery, be ready in plenty of time for next season and compete to my highest ability for many years to come. I’d like to thank Islanders fans for their patience and I look forward to playing in front of them next season.”

DiPietro, an NHL All-Star starter last season, has played in five games this season and has a record of 1-3-0 with a 3.52 goals against average and a .892 save percentage. Drafted by the Islanders with the first overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, DiPietro has played in 273 NHL games and has a record of 117-112-8-24 with a 2.79 goals against average and a .905 save percentage