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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Rick DiPietro took the time to take your questions through Twitter.  His answers are below. 

Who does Rick think is the best goalie outside the Atlantic Division?

Ryan Miller

who are ur best friends on the islanders? are you chill with the kids like JT, KO, and JB? Or old friends like Hunter and Bruno

We have a great overall team chemistry.  Naturally, I do have a closer relationship with Hunts (Trent Hunter), just because we came through the system together.  I really do enjoy spending time with all the other guys though. 

What's Ricks favorite flavor ice cream?

Mint Chocolate Chip

what would be better... winning a gold medal or the cup?

Stanley Cup

Any changes in Ricks equipment for this season?

The colors of my gear will change.  I like to come up with new ideas each year. 

Ricky, what made you decide to make the change in goalie mask last year? Your previous mask was legendary.

I change it a bit every year.  I like to make it look different.  I hold onto each mask so its nice to have different ones every year.  When I had Shakey, it was bad luck so I had to totally change that one. 

After Rick DiPietro comes back from injury, how long will it take him to get back on his 'A' mental game?

Goaltending is a lot of repetition.  When I was able to skate during my rehab, it made things easier because I was seeing pucks.  At home is tough so what I did was watch all the games to study the teams and watch shooters’ tendencies so I became mentally prepared when I returned.

though you've only played 12 games under him, how is your relationship with coach gordon?

I have a great relationship with Scott.  We talk all the time during the season.  Just the fact that he is a former goalie has brought us together.  He also taught me a few of those dance moves from his Beanpot shuffle.

Was the 3-goalie situation last year a distraction in ur opinion?

No not at all.  I was coming off injury and trying to get back into game situations.  The only hard part was trying to stay out of the way and avoid becoming a distraction to the team. 

What does it feel like to now be a veteran on such a young team with many great young players?

Thanks Michael…making me feel old.  Haha (JK)…I don’t feel that old.  Its nice, we have great group of young guys.  It isn’t much fun to constantly be rehabbing an injury but to be in the game and have fun and being a part of this team is the goal.  Looking forward to it. 

Which new islanders player do you most look forward to playing with during the season?

I played with Eaton at the World Championships so it will be fun to see him again. 

What was it like to be selected 1st overall and then signed by the Islanders for 15 years? How much excitement was there?

Both were amazing.  They were easily the top five moments of my life.  I vividly remember both days.  I could not ask for a better place to play on Long Island.  I feel blessed that I can finish my career with the Islanders.  Not many can say they played their entire career with one team and I’m excited to do that. 

Has DP made any changes to his goaltending styles due to his lower body injuries

There have been a few mechanical things that I’ve changed about my game to ease the stress on my lower body but as far as totally changing my game around…no.

How challenging has it been to keep rehabbing?

Its been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  I’ve felt helpless, watching my teammates play and know that there isn’t anything that I can do to help this team win.  The way I look at it now is that I’ve grown as a person and use it as a motivating factor for me to return.

do you think you will be able to stay healthy all year and get at least 30 games in?

I always set those goals to be 100 percent healthy. Right now I’m not putting a number on how many games I’m going to play because it could be more.  All I’m concentrating on taking part in a normal Training Camp and then the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

Rick, will you be ready for training camp? Will you start the season with the Isles? Have you skated yet?

Yes I have been skating.  My legs feel great and I am looking forward to taking part in Training Camp this season. 

@KronisKEK (received via DM)
For Rick DiPietro, given your injury woes, is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back a few seasons?

If I could go back when I was 16 years old, then yes, I’d love to go back and do things differently, but in the end its sports.  When you play hard and compete, things happen.  I’d go back and pull in the reigns when I was trying to get back in to the lineup.  That’s just the competitive part of me and things you learn when you get older. 

DP what is the current status of your injuries and do you expect to play this season. Where do the Isles need the most help?

As far as the injury is concerned, each day I’m continuing to work on leg strength.  I’ve gotten into a similar routine that I had when I went into camps of the past years.  I am looking forward to first day of Training Camp and stepping onto the ice.
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