Nobody who knows Rick DiPietro ever will accuse him of possessing an overwhelming amount of tact.
But yesterday afternoon, six days after the Islanders’ former franchise goaltender was placed on waivers en route to the minors, his dark sense of humor was taken out of context to the point where he was getting calls and texts from family members worried for his well being.
In an on-camera interview with Kevin Maher of News 12 Long Island, DiPietro was as candid as always in admitting the past couple of years have been a tough time, playing just 50 games in the past five seasons because of an assortment of injuries. He then went on to say if it had not been for his wife, Cassandra, there were times “I thought about driving into a tree, off the Throgs Neck Bridge.”
Maher took that to mean DiPietro had contemplated suicide, and when he tweeted as such early in the afternoon, the firestorm began. When reached on the phone by The Post, DiPietro said he was being “100 percent” facetious, and he has never thought about killing himself.
“I’m just trying to bring light to the fact how important my wife has been,” DiPietro said. “It’s been a trying last couple years. There have been times that I’ve been depressed, and I don’t know where I’d be without the support of my wife.”
DiPietro has opened up about his depression before, including to The Post before last year’s training camp. He has off-handedly made these kinds of jokes before, and now knows they should not be taken lightly.
“Never again,” he said.
Since reporting to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) on Tuesday, DiPietro has practiced three times, and could get his first start tonight when the team plays host to the Connecticut Whale, the Rangers’ affiliate. General manager Garth Snow said in a statement DiPietro’s demotion was so he can play “a lot more games, ” and the franchise is “aware of Rick’s comments and the severity of them. We will handle them internally as we do with all player matters.”
DiPietro says TV interview comment was meant in jest
New York Post | Mar 1