Wednesday, March 19, 2008


In the last hour we released the official statement about Rick DiPietro having surgery on his right hip today in Vail, Colorado. Rick will be under the care of Dr. Marc Philippon, the world-reknowned hip specialist at the Steadman Hawkins clinic who repaired Rick's left hip after the playoffs last spring. Marc has also performed successful surgeries on everyone from Mario Lemieux to Greg Norman. In recent times, Garth Snow and Mike Sillinger have seen Dr. Philippon in Vail.

By getting it done today, Rick will have more than enough time to be fully ready for camp in September. It won't be a case where he will start skating in September. To the contrary, he should be able to begin working out on and off the ice well before then.

I completely understand the concern about this incredibly conditioned 26-year old athlete having surgeries on each of his hips at the end of the last two seasons. The positive side is, well, he's an incredibly conditioned 26-year old athlete.

Make no mistake: because of the landmark 15-year contact, Rick's health will always be under the microscope. Understood. This is also because he is the Islanders' franchise player.

Greg Logan has a blog today insisting that the Islanders create a goalie rotation where the backup plays at last 20-25 games each season so Rick is not over-worked. Again, totally understood. I'd be a fool to even try to counter that argument today.

What I can say is that there is no reason for over-reaction. The Islanders and their No. 1 goaltender are doing the right thing today, and I have a strong feeling DiPietro will have an even better season in '08-09.

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