DiPietro remains positive in the AHL, Orr’s memoirs due out in October and Stamkos receives Crosby’s Hart vote

Rick DiPietro is staying positive despite his demotion.(thegoaliestore.com/wikimedia commons)

Rick DiPietro is staying positive despite his demotion.(thegoaliestore.com/wikimedia commons)

St. Louis Blues defenseman Wade Redden spent two years riding busses in the American League before finally returning to the NHL this season and it looks like New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro is going to follow a similar path. Waived by the Islanders in February and now with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he played parts of three seasons in the early 2000s, DiPietro is doing his best to remain positive as reported by Allan Kreda of The New York Times.

Drafted first overall in the 2000 draft, DiPietro signed a record 15-year deal that began in the 2006-07 season, but injuries have prevented him from living up to the contract as he has played just 50 games over the past five seasons. He is 4-3 so far in the AHL and earned first first shutout since November 26, 2010 on Sunday. He has already earned the respect of his new teammates and coaching staff thanks to his experience and the fact he pays for team meals. From Kreda:

DiPietro has the support and respect of his coaches and teammates, most of whom are in their early 20s. He leads the home team onto the ice by skating through the toothy mouth of a huge inflated orange tiger head.

He quickly established a standard for paying the tab for team meals and is the member of the Sound Tigers entourage most likely to return to the team bus with armloads of snacks on the way home from Albany; Manchester, N.H.; or Hershey, Pa. With eight years and $36 million left on his contract, DiPietro is making well more than double the rest of the Sound Tigers’ roster combined.

“He’s been awesome and definitely has livened up our bus rides,” said Matt Donovan, 22, a defenseman from Edmond, Okla., who was a fourth-round pick by the Islanders in 2008. “On the ice, he’s very vocal and always giving us helpful advice. You have to trust him because of all the experience he has.”

Nobody wants to see an established NHLer sent down, but DiPietro is making the most of it as others have noticed. More from Kreda:

“I’m always happy to see young guys mature and make the N.H.L., so when a player like Rick comes back, we’re glad to see him and we aren’t glad to see him,” said (vice president of the Sound Tigers’ booster club Tim) Johnson, who was wearing a bright white, orange and blue Sound Tigers sweater. “I would imagine it would be a blow to anyone’s ego to get sent down, but I’m confident Rick will bring maturity and leadership to the team. So far it appears that he has.”

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Bobby Orr turned 65 today and Boston.com has an exclusive look at his autobiography “Orr: My Story” due out in October. The cover is naturally adorned with the image of him flying through the air after scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal in overtime in 1970 and the book tells the complete story of the defenseman from Parry Sound, Ontario who revolutionized the game and produced 270-645-915 in just 657 games played. From Matt Pepin:

The memoir is due out in October, and according to publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons, it will include Orr’s reflections on his hockey career as well as “the candid thoughts of a man who once lost nearly everything to the treachery of his best friend, then reinvented himself and found renewed success.”

Said Orr: “I’m like most people in that over time I’ve wanted to write down my thoughts, make sense of many things I’ve seen, and share some things I’ve learned. Having played in the National Hockey League doesn’t make me a better person than anyone else but it does mean that I’ve met some interesting people and been through some experiences I think are worth putting on paper. This moment in my life seems the right time to do just that.”

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Sidney Crosby is widely considered to e the best in the game and he is posting insane totals in his first full season in three years, but even he can find others in the league to look up to. Mike Zeisberger of The Toronto Sun reports Crosby believes Steven Stamkos is the best goal-scorer in the NHL and deserves Hart Trophy consideration. From Zeisberger:

When it comes to discussing Hart Trophy candidates, one name immediately comes to the mind of front-runner Sidney Crosby.

“I can’t talk about myself but, to me, the guy I think about right away is Steven Stamkos,” Crosby told the Sun. “He is the best natural goal scorer in the league.”

Right now, Crosby is first in assists and points (13-37-50) and Stamkos is first in goals and second in points (21-19-40). Both are likely to be linemates in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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