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LHinks: Hillen, Comeau don't sign contracts; NHL schedule fun

Check back in a couple hours for a more thorough post on the Islanders schedule. Meantime, some morning links:

...Each year, when seeking to complain or compare other teams' schedules, there's really only one place to go: Dirk ("the Forechecker") and his NHL Super Schedule at his Predators blog, On the Forecheck. In total mileage, as always, the Islanders have an easy road. In back-to-backs, they're tied for the most, with 19.

With the Islanders tough early schedule, Greg Logan rightly points out that the Islanders "can't afford to trot out Rick DiPietro until he is completely ready." Last year: Mistakes were made. Hope Dwayne is ready to roll.

...From Logan's chat: Bailey looks stronger, no decision on captaincy yet, no news on Matt Martin, and look for Snow to keep hoarding cap space so that he can leverage it to take other teams' (cough CHI/PHI) cap problems next year.

...Alex Tanguay isn't coming here, but Mirtle has some possible destinations that make sense.

...But the big news: Chris Botta reports that both Jack Hillen and Blake Comeau let the deadline lapse for signing the Isles' qualifying offers. They're still controlled by the Islanders, but this shows they want something more, or different (sometimes players trade a lower NHL salary for the security of a one-way deal that guarantees that salary). Neither has leverage, neither has earned much yet as NHLers, but at the same time, they are pieces of Garth Snow's youth movement that probably shouldn't be jerked around over a few hundred thousand dollars.

...More schedule and Tavares contract reactions: Forever1940 compiles most of the preseason schedule (which hasn't been released by the club) | From yesterday, NY Post with Josh Bailey quotes about Tavares | Islesblogger and Islanders Outsider on Tavares | Dee has a brief interview with Garth Snow at her HB gig (auto-video assault warning), where Snow says Rechlicz isn't the only answer at enforcer.

Update: Ken of Okposo Net has a cool feature on camp invitee Shuhei Kuji. Who? Just read it.

...And just because he's HI-larious with a capital H-I: Down Goes Brown reviews the Leafs' schedule.

Finally, if you missed this on the Havlat/Dale Tallon/Chicago melodrama, it's worth a read: Puck Daddy had two great posts (the first is even better) that perfectly capture the machinations of NHL politics among player (Havlat), agent (Walsh), old guard (Bowmans), new marketers (McDonough) and the media who sympathize with an old guard feller like Tallon.