Islanders Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, March 30th, 2007 at 11:35 pm and is filed under Hockey, Islanders Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

So as it turns out, Islanders officials are a bunch of liars – potentially a bunch of dangerous liars. Goalie Rick DiPietro has indeed suffered a serious concussion that could keep him out for the rest of the season. Newsday‘s Greg Logan provides us with several quotes from within the organization:

Isles’ VP of media relations Chris Botta on the decision to dispose of the deception now:

“We believe a head injury is a private issue,” Botta said. “We’re coming out with this information now because we don’t want anyone to question that Rick is a warrior. He wants to play. This is a special case. We didn’t want this issue to go any longer for the fans not to understand the situation.”

GM Garth Snow on whether DiPi was initially allowed to return too soon:

“No. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion. His CT scan was fine, he had six days of rest, and he was monitored by the medical staff. He had no complaints leading up to the games.”

Snow on whether the organization is concerned that their franchise player has allegedly suffered two concussions just 12 days apart:

“There’s always concern. That’s why the medical staff won’t allow him to play.”

According to Logan, if DiPi’s symptoms don’t subside by Tuesday, the decision could be made to shut him down for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Logan’s colleague Wallace Matthews is fairly incensed that the organization is operating in such secrecy. Says Wallace:

They are all euphemisms, of course, for what DiPietro really suffered, which is a bruised brain. If he were a boxer, he immediately would have been suspended for 60 days after the game in Montreal, meaning his season would have been over. Instead, he was back in a week.

Clearly, DiPietro suffered a significant concussion against the Canadiens, and a couple of days off weren’t quite enough to clear it up. Then he suffered another one against the Rangers. By the team’s acknowledgment, he “hasn’t been right” ever since.

Nobody involved with the Islanders wants to say the words “post-concussion syndrome,” because to do so would be to acknowledge that what is afflicting DiPietro is potentially career-threatening.

We understand that the NHL is the most stoic of our sports leagues, a modern-day Sparta in which players think nothing of losing teeth, leaking blood, getting sewn up and going back out to play, preferably without missing a shift. This is admirable, if a bit anachronistic in an era in which baseball players are routinely hospitalized for a case of the sniffles.

But we are talking about a serious injury, a concussion, and not one, but two in the space of two weeks, and a player around whom the Islanders have built not just this season but every one between now and 2021.

I’ve got to agree with the consensus here. After all the optimism that surrounded the team at the trade deadline, it has now all blown up in their face. The Isles are unlikely to make the postseason, Ryan Smyth is unlikely to resign with the team, and now owner Charles Wang is quickly learning why DiPi’s 15-year guaranteed contract is the only one of its ilk in professional sports. And they wonder why they can’t fill the building?

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