Nov 29, 2011; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro (39) during warm-ups for the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome Back - DP to return to the Isles lineup

Yes fans – he is back!

It was announced on Wednesday, that Rick DiPietro has been activated from the injured list, and is ready to play come September at training camp.  For the first time in nearly four years, the franchise’s 15 year man is ready to step to the plate for the beginning of the season.

DiPietro, who was teaching over a dozen kids at his annual goalie camp in early July, needs to have a positive camp, to give the fans a glimmer of hope that he can return to the form that made him an All-Star, before suffering that tragic injury in the skills game, that began his spiral.

In the past, I was somewhat critical of DP in the time after his injuries  began.  However, last season, the Islanders Booster Club had Ricky as a guest at one of their meetings.  What he told the members at that meeting, turned a lot of their opinions around.  He told them that there were many times that he questioned a lot of things in his life, when he was driving home from his therapy sessions.  Many others questioned his comments, but his feelings for this team are 100% genuine, and he really wants to prove his worth, and show that this contract was not done in vain.  I had a change in my opinion about him, and I really feel that he will work extremely hard, in order to bring the naysayers to his camp.

Training camp begins in the second week of September, and the season starts four weeks later.  I expect to see #39 in the lineup.  Whether he is the starter or the backup, is up to him.

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