Goalie Rick DiPietro has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the day he signed his 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the New York Islanders in 2006. Injuries have derailed his once-promising career since 2008, and he hasn’t won much when he has been on the ice.

But don’t think just because he’s making millions in the American Hockey League, the 31-year-old has been immune to the criticism.

Speaking to News 12’s Kevin Maher[1], DiPietro acknowledged — maybe too readily — that he has heard the critics and felt the pressures of not living up to expectations.

He said that without the support of his wife, “there’s times I thought about driving my car into a tree – off the Throgs Neck Bridge. There’s been a lot of dark times.”

Thursday, these comments were released out of context on social media, causing Twitter to blow up.

DiPietro told Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post, before the televised interview aired, that he was being “100 percent” facetious and has never thought about ending his own life. The netminder has joked like this before, but he understands the seriousness of such comments and “never again” would let it happen.

It was just a way to explain his wife’s role in helping him through these rough times.

“I’m just trying to bring light to fact that how important my wife has been,” DiPietro told the Post. “It’s been a trying last couple years. There have been times that I’ve been depressed, and I don’t know where I’d be without the support of my wife.”

Islanders general manager Garth Snow released a statement: “We are aware of Rick’s comments today and the severity of them. We will handle them internally as we do with all player matters. This is an opportunity for Rick to play lots of games in Bridgeport.”

Even if DiPietro was kidding, it’s clear that he hasn’t taken his fall from grace lightly.

“Yea, it was a tough moment, like someone rips your heart out,” he said about the demotion. “It did catch me off guard, but everything happens for a reason and I’m going into this with a positive attitude and I’m going to work hard to get better.”

DiPietro isn’t sure about his future, but for now, he will attempt to resuscitate his career in the AHL.

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