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Rick DiPietro of the Islanders is shelved the rest of the season. ((Julie Jacobson/Associated Press))

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro is being shut down for the season because of continuing problems with a surgically repaired knee, the team announced Tuesday.

"After extensive consultation we feel this decision is in the best interest for Rick and the team," Islanders GM Garth Snow said in a statement. "This will allow Rick ample time to make a full recovery for next year."

DiPietro said the club's decision was the right one.

"This has been one of the most frustrating situations I have ever had to deal with but this is the right decision for me and the team," he said. "I am confident this will allow me to make a complete recovery, be ready in plenty of time for next season and compete to my highest ability for many years to come."

DiPietro, 27, is still near the beginning of the landmark 15-year, $67.5-million US contract he signed with the Islanders in September 2006.

He has played in only five games this season, missing all of November and most of December before returning for a Boxing Day win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

DiPietro's last game was a Jan. 2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in which he gave up five goals on 33 shots.

The American goalie was drafted first overall in the 2000 draft.

The Islanders (12-29-5) will enter this weekend's all-star break with the fewest wins and points in the 30-team NHL.

 

With files from the Associated Press