Bits: Islanders QOs, NHL free agency moves looming

Large, but unqualified. - Bruce Bennett

This is a massive load of links, but there is lots to talk about and we might as well direct some of it here.

Busy week? Busy week. The NHL Draft, and now the pending parting with Rick DiPietro, were just the start.

Before free agency, the official word on qualifying offers. For the Isles: Josh Bailey, Brett Gallant, David Ullstrom, Travis Hamonic, Thomas Hickey and Kevin Poulin all receive QO's as previously reported by Arthur Staple of Newsday. Absences from that list include Brandon Defazio and Mikko Koskinen, who turns 25 this month and is reportedly signed in Europe for the next two years.

Many have eyed the Isles' $32 million in cap space, but keep in mind a portion of that will be tied up in re-signings, particularly for Hamonic.

For the Panthers, they are not qualifying Peter Mueller or Jack Skille.

If you've missed the rules for free agency this year, the signings can begin on July 5 but the new "interview period" that allows teams to talk to players (apparently the NBA does this and it's a lovely gong show) will be July 3-4, beginning at 12:01 EDT on July 3. Expect insanity.

Among all that, the Isles are reportedly interested in Danny Briere, who wants to stay somewhere in the Northeast.

On that note, two relevant points from Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts:

Both Vincent Lecavalier and Daniel Briere have gone from terribly disappointed to pleasantly surprised and excited by the amount of interest in them. All of that interest means both players will command a bigger dollar than expected.

[Pierre Lebrun has a little more on both here.]

and also from Friedman:

20. I wondered if the Islanders would make a play for Schneider. Hard to see the Canucks doing it without New York's first-round pick, but there is a belief that Garth Snow was going to trade either Nino Niederreiter or that selection, but not both.

And speaking of Nino, here is his interview with Minneapolis radio. Says communication could have been better, the poor thing. And here is a Google Translate of some of his reaction, as well as a 20 Minuten guy saying his career has now been saved.

And for the other half of that trade, a stats look by garik16 on Clutterbuck.

Nice find by Isles Op-Timism on Kirill Kabanov training in the Gary Roberts camp of hard knocks.

Isles Official Site Stuff:

More draft and trade stuff:

This and that:

This week, it's gonna be crazy.

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