SUN Hockey Pool

Desperate Hurricanes sign Rick DiPietro to PTO

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro watches the puck during NHL action in Calgary January 3,...

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro watches the puck during NHL action in Calgary January 3, 2011. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:58 PM ET

The Carolina Hurricanes are desperate.

Like, Rick DiPietro desperate.

The Hurricanes signed the 32-year-old goaltender to a professional tryout contract with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, according to multiple reports.

With starter Cam Ward out for a month with a lower-body injury and backup Anton Khubodin also on the shelf, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford indicated DiPietro could be used if he chooses to hit the panic button.

“It’s a safety net and could give us more depth,” Rutherford told the Raleigh News and Observer. “At this point it’s a PTO. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in, how he plays.”

Justin Peters is currently the team’s starter and has proven to be unreliable.

DiPietro played three games for the New York Islanders in the lockout-shortened season before finishing in the AHL. The Isles bought out his 15-year, $64 million contract — signed in 2006 — July 3 and will pay him $1.5 million annually for the next 16 years.

SILFVERBERG OUT LONG TERM

Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg will miss 4-6 weeks after breaking his hand, the team announced Saturday.

The Ducks said the injury was caused by a slash late in Friday’s 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators.

Silfverberg, part of the off-season trade that sent Bobby Ryan to Ottawa, scored four goals and three assists in his first seven games this season.

In other Ducks injury news, Dustin Penner, who missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, is expected to rejoin the team in time for Sunday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

GODS DAMN PANTHERS

Kris Versteeg sounds like a man losing faith.

“I don’t know why the hockey gods aren’t shining on us right now,” the Florida Panthers winger told the Miami Herald when recounting the club’s embarrassing 3-1 defeat Friday to the Buffalo Sabres. “I have no answers. Personally, I’ve never been this snakebitten in my life. And it sucks. Really bad.”

Florida dominated play, firing at Jhonas Enroth 79 times — 45 shots on goal, 17 blocked and 17 missed — but still wound up losing.

“It’s a hard loss for us,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “At the end of it, we weren’t trading chance-for-chance. It was three or four then one against. It’s just the quality of that one chance against.”

With the win, Buffalo doubled its win total this season, improved its record to a 2-9-1 heading into Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers are 3-7-1.


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