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Islanders activate Rick DiPietro from injured reserve

Rick DiPietro

Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro (39) skates off the ice as the Philadelphia Flyers celebrate after Flyers’ Danny Briere scored a goal to win the game 4-3 in overtime at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)


Dust off your old jokes: the New York Islanders just announced that they activated goalie Rick DiPietro from the injured reserve.

DiPietro’s recent injury history has been comical or tragic (or perhaps a source of dark comedy?) for several seasons. Here’s a brief history of his games played since his health took a nose dive:

2008-09: five games played
2009-10: eight GP
2010-11: 26 GP
2011-12: eight GP

That’s 47 games played after he played more than 62 per season from 2005-06 to 2007-08.

The mammoth size of his contract is the other part of the many zingers sent his (and the Islanders’) way.

DiPietro’s $4.5 million cap hit and salary will recur until the 2020-21 season - barring a buyout or perhaps some kind of amnesty clause from an eventual new CBA.

To many, DiPietro will remain little more than empty salary to boost the Isles closer to the cap floor. If he’s unusually healthy next season, he’ll need to contend with Evgeni Nabokov for starts.