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Rick DiPietro gets minor-league look with Hurricanes

Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders looks

Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders looks on before a game against the New Jersey Devils. (Jan. 19, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Rick DiPietro is back in pro hockey.

The star-crossed former Islanders goaltender, bought out this past July, signed a tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the Hurricanes' minor-league affiliate.

Carolina has both of its goaltenders, Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin, out injured and has called up both of Charlotte's goaltenders, Justin Peters and Mike Murphy.

That left a void, and Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer that he wanted to take a chance on DiPietro, who reportedly has stayed in shape by working out in Bridgeport, home of the Isles' AHL affiliate.

"It could be a safety net and give us more depth," Rutherford told the News & Observer. "At this point, it's a tryout. We'll see what kind of shape he's in, how his health is, how he plays."

DiPietro's Islanders career ended with a whimper in July when the team used a compliance buyout to terminate the remaining eight seasons of DiPietro's 15-year, $67.5-million deal. The 32-year-old goaltender had been placed on waivers Feb. 22 of last season, three days after a 3-1 loss to the Senators in Ottawa. DiPietro finished the 2012-13 season playing 18 games for Bridgeport.

DiPietro is second all-time among Islanders goaltenders with 318 games played over a dozen seasons.

Grabner returnsMichael Grabner was back in the lineup after completing his two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Carolina's Nathan Gerbe a week ago.

Eric Boulton played his second game of the season -- and got into his second fight, this one coming with the Flyers' Jay Rosehill in the first period.

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