DiLauro’s Back Brings Him Back…But Not Really

As Niko Hovinen was sweeping away a gigantic puddle of water that had accumulated around his crease during warm-ups, the buzz in the arena wasn’t about the poor ice conditions that would ultimately lead to an equally poor game, but the unexpected return of the Titans former captain, Ray DiLauro.

Well, on paper, anyway.

Once the ECHL Transactions report had been released, Titans fans on Twitter and Facebook were wondering why the team had brought back DiLauro, who was unceremoniously released in early December, and why he’d been placed on injured reserve immediately.  And what the hell is “Playing Rule 74(b),” which was cited as the reason he was added?

For comments you won’t see anywhere else, I tracked down Titans GM Rich Lisk for the skinny on what led to this move.

“When we released Ray, in his exit physical, we found out that he had something wrong with his back,” Lisk said.

“It wasn’t that bad in his back, but he still had something wrong with his back.  So we sent him to a second opinion, and the second opinion confirmed it.  So, per the (ECHL) rules, we had to put him back on our on IR, retroactively to the day we let him go and rehab him.  And that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to put him back on and rehab him.”

DiLauro, a personable defenseman and Bensalem native, was a popular player in Trenton, and many were questioning if this move would lead to a possible on-ice return, especially given the shorthanded nature of the team.  In a word, no.

“I don’t think so, no,” said Lisk, when asked directly about the matter.

“It’s more of a doing the right thing by the player, and our doctors confirmed it and another doctor did, so it’s just the right thing to do.  But there’s no future in playing for him here.”

So, for anyone wondering if a breakup that was as messy as the ice Friday night’s game was played on had somehow led to a change of heart…there’s your answer.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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