The New York Islanders have placed goalie Rick DiPietro and defenseman Mike Mottau on the injured list. DP is considered day-to-day with swelling on his knee, but Mottau will need surgery on his hip and is lost for the rest of the season.
DiPietro, who is in the fourth year of a 15-year contract, has played 14 games this season and has a record of 4-6-4 with a 3.68 GAA and a save percentage of .880.
The Isles franchise goalie played a total of only 13 games for the club over the past two seasons after suffering knee and hip injuries which required multiple surgeries.
DiPietro missed Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes due to swelling of his knee. He described the injury as “minor” and the rest as “precautionary.”
Unfortunately, Isles fans heard similar pronouncements in recent years only to see DP sit out the majority of the past two seasons. It is not known how long DiPietro will be out of the lineup at this time. He did not practice with the club on Monday or Tuesday.
The injury to DiPietro would most likely put a damper on rumors that goalie Dwayne Roloson is on the trading block. Roloson was bypassed for the start Saturday night in favor of 27-year-old rookie Nathan Lawson, who made his NHL debut.
Although Roloson’s contract is up at the end of this year and he is a candidate to be dealt at the trade deadline, the Isles would be unlikely to deal Roloson unless they got an experienced NHL goalie in return. The goalies in the Isles’ system, Lawson, Kevin Poulin and Mikko Koskinen, are considered to be at least a season away from being NHL ready.
Mottau was already out of the lineup for the past 10 games after suffering an eye injury November21 in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers. The present injury, which was described as torn labrum in his left hip, is unrelated to the eye injury.
The Islanders signed Mottau as a free agent late this summer after Mark Streit suffered a serious injury during a pre-season scrimmage and was lost for approximately six months. He played for the New Jersey Devils last three seasons with the New Jersey Devils. In 20 games with the Isles this year, Mottau has three assists and eight penalty minutes. He provided the Isles with steady play on defense.
The Islanders defense has been decimated by injuries this season with Streit, Mottau, Andrew MacDonald, Jack Hillen, Milan Jurcina and Mark Eaton all missing significant time due to a variety of injuries.
The Islanders return to the ice on Wednesday evening when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.