Former NHL All-Star goalie and No. 1 overall draft pick Rick DiPietro has signed a professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, according to multiple reports.
The 32-year-old will join the Checkers on Saturday night and likely play a few games later next week, the Charlotte News & Observer's Chip Alexander reports.
Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said the team signed DiPietro -- who was bought out from his groundbreaking 15-year contract with the Islanders in July after several injury-plagued seasons -- as insurance given the injuries to goalies Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin.
"It could be a safety net and give us more depth," Rutherford said. "At this point it's a tryout. We'll see what kind of shape he's in, how his health is, how he plays."
Last season, the Canes were contending for a Southeast Division title before Ward injured a knee and backup goalie Dan Ellis cut himself with a skate.
"We don't want to be put in the same position we were in last year," Rutherford said. "When Cam was hurt, we started going through the names and looking at possibilities.
"With an 82-game schedule you have more leeway with injuries. But with that being said, having as much depth as you can in goal is important."