Former Islanders goalie turned ESPN New York radio (98.7 FM) host Rick DiPietro, got a bump in his media career recently when it was revealed that highlights of his show with Alan Hahn would be aired nightly on MSG starting next month. But that excitement is tinged with some regret over a once-promising hockey career derailed by injuries as he watches his former team try to win a postseason series for the first time since 1993.
“I definitely miss it more. I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I am not playing,” said DiPietro, who has not played since 2013, but notes that he is not officially retired. “The reason I signed that long-term contract [for 15 years in 2006] is because I could see where the team was headed.”
As DiPietro’s athletic life ended, his radio life began with a text to Hahn, who was on air, suggesting the Newsday columnist and friend bring up a certain hockey point during his show. Hahn suggested DiPietro try getting behind the microphone, but the goalie was hesitant given the way his career ended in New York, and the reaction fans could have to him.
DiPietro took the chance and it started with him, Hahn and SNY’s Brian Custer filling in for Dave Rothenberg overnights.
“I still don’t think we realize it,” DiPietro said. “I just knew we were having fun doing it and we were going to keep doing it until they told us we couldn’t do it anymore. We’re friends, and I think people can tell that. We wanted it to sound like two friends sitting home, watching the game together.”
This is DiPietro’s time of year. He’s free to talk hockey more on the show with the Islanders and Rangers both in the playoffs. But he grew up a fan of the Mets, Jets and Knicks, so he knows all about the emotions of being connected to those teams.
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