Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders

Over the past few injury-riddled years, Rick DiPietro has become somewhat of a whipping boy for NHL fans. We’ve laughed at him for being “made of glass,” we’ve laughed at the Islanders for giving him a huge contract, and we’ve laughed at his recent lack of success when he’s been well enough to play. Of course, he’s not oblivious to this.

I’ve mentioned on the podcast a few times that I’ve felt bad for him. With big contracts come big expectations and pressure, and when you feel like you’re disappointing people and failing everyday, especially when you know you’re under a microscope, it can’t be a ton of fun. That thinking was confirmed today when Kevin Maher tweeted out a preview of his interview with DiPietro today in the wake of him getting sent down to the AHL.

Here’s what he shared:

The best points, as usual, have come from Patrick Burke:





Yup. Here’s an earlier piece where Rick “jokes” about some of the mental struggles.




Comments (14)

  1. Chronic pain alone can be crushing mentally.
    Not being able to do the thing you love can be crushing mentally.
    Feeling like you’ve let down your team can be crushing mentally.

    All of those things by themselves can be tough to deal with. I can’t even imagine how DiPietro feels or has struggled with all of those things combined.

    I’ve dealt with a ‘minor’ depression in the past, and it is incredibly difficult even with as ‘minor’ as my situation was.

    I really feel for the guy and wish him the best. He could use some good luck for a change.

    • Agreed all around.

      I deal with anxiety, and am thankful I haven’t had to deal with depression. People in all walks of life deal with it – the rich aren’t exempt.

      • I’ve actually heard of studies that show that money actually only increases a person’s happiness up to about $60,000/year. After that, it’s supposedly a wash.

  2. 1st met ricky when first arrived in bport. Good kid good with the gans. Then he got big contract and he changed. No longer approachable seemed ti become very hugh on himself. After several injuries we ran into him again at bridgeport when he came to watch a game. He was the old rick again. More outgoing and approachable. I feel for him. I still think he has some very good hockey in him but his confidence is severley shaken. Hopefully he has a really productive stint in bridgport and get him back to the goalie he can be.

  3. I feel bad for him. It must be tough not to be able to do as well as you believe you can at your job, especially when it’s injury related.

    But DiPietro has never had to worry how he’s going to pay for his surgeries. And yeah, he got sent to the A…but it doesn’t stand for freaking Afghanistan.
    I feel bad that he’s struggled with injuries and depression, I really do. I’m glad he also has access to great medical care in a country where many people can’t afford it.

    Sure, he deserves a bit of a break, but really, he’s not some sort of tragic martyr. He’s welcome to take an easier job…like walking dogs. But really, the condescension levelled at hockey fans because of their frustration with a guy who sucks at his job, making millions while doing it, and thinking he should have a little perspective, is a bit much.

  4. He woulda felt better if he gave the money back. Just saying.

    • okay Dr. Recchi ,I didnt know you branched out into psychology

      • Besides the fact the POS was joking about suicide, I stand by believing that had this all really gotten to him, he would’ve taken the steps to lessen the burden on the team and simutaneously relieve all the pressure on himself.

  5. While he would always stay until the last person had their autograph, he was always way too impressed with himself. Ran into him and Okposo once and he couldn’t with the fact that we wanted to talk to Okposo instead of him cause we knew some of the same people from Shattuck.

  6. For everyone saying he got full of himself, he got how much money when he was… 25ish?

    This isn’t to excuse his behavior, but it wouldn’t be surprising that something like that goes to your head. Hopefully it doesn’t, and it doesn’t for every player/person.

    I’m just saying that because the guy got money and became a bit of a jerk doesn’t mean that we can’t have sympathy for the mental struggles he has/had/will have.

  7. While he certainly doesn’t belong in the NHL in his current state I do feel bad for him. Islander fans have had a lot of frustration and anger from the well publicized crap we have had to deal with the last two decades and he has become the easiest target of that anger. It’s not fair but it is what it is.

    When he was sent down there was a weird empty feeling for many of us. The craziness of the franchise sucks from an on ice perspective but the shared pain has made us a pretty tight knit fan base. Ricky has been a joke but he’s OUR joke. I really hope he can redeem himself; no one has committed himself to the Islanders as much as him since Justin’s dad was on the team. But there will be something missing without him pulling the ‘scape wagon’.

  8. I have never really had anything against Rick DiPietro. My main problem was with the Isles for giving him such an insane contract. It just happened that he turned out to be extremely injury-prone, which makes the contract even worse.

    Really, with his injuries, it makes the whole thing a self-fullfilling prophesy. How much can you sit out and have surgeries before you lose a step (or two or three)? Anyone who saw how little he’s been able to play in the last few years should have known he was AHL-bound.

    Yeah, he’s taken care of financially, but hopefully the guy can turn his heath around, get some playing time, and work his way back up….there’s certainly incentive for the Isles to use him since they have to pay him anyway.

  9. So everyone was all doom and gloom about depression issues and feeling sorry for Rick..

    So now that he admitted he was just making a joke, do we still feel sorry?…or are we forgetting this thing happened entirely?

  10. I really feel that Dipietro does in fact suffer from depression, people don’t joke about suicide lightly. Maybe he was afraid of backlash because sports players are to be mentally tough throughout their career no matter what. I hope that he makes a comeback he really was a good goalie before his injuries started. All the luck to you Rick!

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