Anders Lee, Aaron Ness accept qualifying offers; Kevin Poulin's arbitration date set

Driving for dollars...next time. - Bruce Bennett

Two RFAs down, a few more to go.

A few record-keeping notes for an off day during the Islanders summer prospect development mini-camp:

As expected, restricted free agents Anders Lee and Aaron Ness have accept their qualifying offers from the club, their agents announced via Twitter (and the team has updated its July transactions with the news).

Though Lee in particular is an interesting case -- he's older, his NHL sample is small but impressive -- Newsday's Arthur Staple had previously reported he would be accepting the offer rather than trying to negotiate something longer. This will give both club and player a chance to see where he fits before they enter into discussions for a bigger marriage.

In just over a year of work, Lee has already gotten a good start on his earnings, since his signing bonus was effectively for two years. (One thing NCAA players in his situation can do is "burn" a year of their ELC quickly at the end of their college season, as Lee did when his Notre Dame season finished in 2013.)

Ness, coming off a three-year entry level contract, doesn't have much leverage for more at this point -- he's in a crowded group of blueline hopefuls, with fellow RFAs Calvin de Haan and Matt Donovan getting more NHL games this past season.

Speaking of de Haan and Donovan, well ... for different reasons those too could be fun. Particularly de Haan, who has a small NHL sample and a history of injuries, but has clearly taken bigger roles when healthy. Forward Casey Cizikas is the other significant RFA.

Separately, Kevin Poulin's arbitration date has been set for July 30, according to TSN. As discussed earlier, his goal in arbitration might not be so much about NHL salary as what he will earn in the AHL, where he is likely to spend the majority of the upcoming season.

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