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Isles hope DiPietro's time has come

The Islanders are counting on former No. 1 pick Rick DiPietro to come of age quickly.

Originally Published: September 24, 2001
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

They have perhaps the deepest defensive unit in the Eastern Conference, perhaps the league.

They have been to the playoffs two straight years behind some of the loudest, unruliest fans in the NHL.

They have a 53-year-old rookie coach whose resume includes a bit part in the movie "Slapshot" and an enigmatic Russian star who insists he's ready to get back in the saddle.

But all eyes in the New York Islander universe, from general manager Mike Milbury on down, will be watching the progress ...

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