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DiPietro signs with Hurricanes' AHL affiliate

Saturday, 10.26.2013 / 5:49 PM / News

NHL.com

Goaltender Rick DiPietro has signed a professional tryout with the Charlotte Checkers, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Saturday to Chip Alexander of the (Raleigh) News & Observer.

DiPietro has not played since the 2012-13 season, which he completed with the New York Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. The Islanders used a compliance buyout on the 32-year-old's contract on July 3. At the time of the buyout, DiPietro, the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NHL Draft, ranked second all-time in franchise history with 318 games played.

He began the 2012-13 season with the Islanders before being waived and loaned to their AHL team. In 18 games for the Sound Tigers last season, he finished with a 9-9-0 record, 2.93 goals-against average and .893 save percentage. In his NHL career, DiPietro has a record of 130-136-8-28 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

The signing could make sense for the Hurricanes' AHL affiliate, which is short on goaltenders because of injuries for the parent club. Starting goaltender Cam Ward was placed on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury. Backup Anton Khudobin was already on IR with a lower-body injury.

The Hurricanes called up Mike Murphy from the Checkers on Thursday, after already bringing Justin Peters to Raleigh when Khudobin was hurt. Left with just a single goaltender on their roster, the Checkers signed former Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Allen York to a PTO contract on Friday.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery