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The Painful Saga of Rick DiPietro

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Photo: Darren Carroll/SI

2000-01 season

After playing for Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Moscow, DiPietro is summoned from AHL Chicago for the third time, with accidentally mismatched equipment and a send-off from goaltending partner Wendell Young who tells SI's Michael Farber that DiPietro will need two airline seats -- one in coach for his body, the other in first class for his ego (his flight was cancelled due to a mechanical problem). The brash 19-year-old netminder makes his NHL debut on Jan. 27, 2001 vs. Buffalo, producing 29 saves and being credited with an assist in a 2-1 loss. He sticks with the team and goes on to appear in 20 games in all, finishing with a 3-15-1 record and 3.49 GAA for the awful Isles, who finish last overall in the NHL.

CLICK HERE to read Michael Farber's "Teen Angel" (SI 02.19.01)

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