Rick DiPietro's comments to LI's News 12 this afternoon have caused quite the stir, and if that was the former all-star's intent, then he accomplished it very well, as many have talked about on Twitter and elsewhere. Rick's comments are what they are, they are the latest in a series of comments that have put Rick above the Islanders. They are selfish and condescending.
Rick has every right to say what he did, but some of his comments can be taken as insensitive. Rick has over time lost the faith of the fan base, not because he wasn't a good goalie, but because he lost that ability over time through injuries and stalled comeback after stalled comeback. Attacking Rick with the obvious: that the team has stood by him every single second of his struggles, will do no good. Rick's always been selfish when it came to the media, that's the one thing he never matured with.
I've had difficulty myself not lashing out at Rick for the comments he made with regards to the issues of suicide and Rick's response to being placed on waivers, but it's difficult to express how I feel about it. I will respect Rick's right to say what he said, but vehemently disagree with it. I expect the Islanders to handle things internally, whatever the outcome. I'm not here to pontificate what athletes say and do, I just shrug most of it off.
For fans, the most we can hope for is for Rick to just play out at Bridgeport, maybe he shakes the rust off and makes an eventual return to the NHL. If it happens, I expect he'll back up one of the prospects, probably either Poulin or Koskinen. When he returns, I hope that fans just live with it.
Rick was selfish, there's no other way to put it. If he's having trouble with the litany of injuries and his issues with the fans, Rick has the means and support to seek out help, but it seems that'd probably be a strike to his pride, which has somehow stayed in tact. He's shown no humility for the things he's been given. He needs help and should seek it out while he's down at Bridgeport. He wasn't demoted for his attitude, but because of his performance. However, he's likely burned his last bridge with fans, it'll be tough for Rick to ever get fans back on his side.
I'm disappointed in DiPietro and wish things had gone differently, but the past is the past and Rick's still in the organization for now; time to just move on.