Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Islanders placed goaltender Rick DiPietro on waivers Friday afternoon.
The oft-injured 31-year-old was just 0-3-0 with a 4.09 goals-against average and .855 save percentage this season.
The Isles made a splash when they selected the Boston-area native first overall in the 2000 draft after his stellar freshman season at Boston University. The club placed their trust in him as a franchise cornerstone when they inked him to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract back in September of 2006. That deal is set pay him $4.5 million per season through its completion in 2021.
Due to DiPietro's lack of consistent health over the years, no other team is expected to put in a claim, and he will be sent to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League after clearing waivers, where his cap hit will be a pro-rated $3.6 million for the remainder of the season.
Kevin Poulin is expected to be recalled from Bridgeport to the big club, according to Newsday.
Over his 12-year pro tenure, DiPietro has gone 130-136-28 with eight ties, a 2.87 GAA and .902 save percentage in 318 appearances.
The New York crease got a little more crowded on Feb. 8, when Islanders GM Garth Snow acquired Tim Thomas from the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional second-round pick in either 2014 or 2015.
However, all indications are that Thomas, who took the year off to spend time with his family in Colorado, will not return to the NHL this season.
Evgeni Nabokov will remain the starter going forward.