The New York Islanders have started the process of buying out the long-term contract of goaltender Rick DiPietro.
The Islanders placed the 31-year-old netminder on waivers on Tuesday in order to use a compliance buyout on the final eight years of his 15-year deal.
DiPietro is still owed $36 million on the remainder of his $67.5 million deal that has an average annual value of $4.5 million.
The Lewiston, Maine native only played in three games for the Islanders in 2012/13 before being placed on waivers and sent down to the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Since the 2008/09 season, DiPietro has only appeared in 50 games for the Islanders, as he has battled through numerous injuries and inconsistency.
Originally selected first overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Islanders, DiPietro has played in 318 NHL games with the franchise and has a 130-136-36 record and a career 2.87 goals against average.
The Islanders stunned the hockey world in September of 2006 when owner Charles Wang and general manager Garth Snow signed DiPietro to the 15-year contract.
The deal is the longest in NHL history, at the time surpassing the 10-year $87.5 million deal the Islanders gave to forward Alexei Yashin in 2001.
The contract was set to expire after the 2020/21 season.