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[Bits] Garth Snow on Line One, Qualifying Lee, Early Bird Specials and Not-So-Specials

One ringy tingy

I'd like some money please
I'd like some money please
Bruce Bennett

Word on the street yesterday was that Garth Snow had been burning up the phone lines on the first day teams were permitted to chat with UFAs, even calling agents at ungodly hours. Arthur Staple threw around the names Matt Niskanen and Brad Richards, two of the bigger fish in the free agent pond this year. However you feel about these two in particular (curious but cautious about Niskanen's price tag, bleeecch on Richards), it's refreshing to hear Snow is out there.

Even more refreshing would be Snow getting one of this year's mercs to put pen to paper and finding the first straight-up UFA to choose the Islanders over the 29 other clubs. A nit-picky distinction? Maybe. But it would be a conversation changer at least.

Islanders links

  • Chris is a font of information on NHL fifth overall picks like the one the Islanders have.
  • Yesterday's ESPN Spreecast (not related to Latrell Sprewell, unfortunately) talked a lot of Islanders in its final segment. Everyone hears the same things about the Islanders being one of the more aggressive teams out there right now and give Garth Snow something called "credit." Pierre LeBrun in particular says that Dan Boyle's people were very impressed with the Islanders' offer, despite his - most likely - rejection.
  • Staple also tweeted a few nuggets about restricted free agent Anders Lee accepting a one-year qualifying offer from the club:

  • What's the deal with Lee and the Islanders' other RFAs this summer? [Islanders Insight]
  • Multiple reports and reporters [Sportsnet] are saying that there is a "good deal of interest" in Boyle [ESPN], but there's little mention of the team currently holding his rights.
  • I was the guest on Sports with the Statman last night, and had a fun talk with host and LHH poster gstatman about what the draft and the off-season is looking like for the Islanders. I hope George edited out my goofy nervous giggling. The show's official site is here for your listening pleasure.

Holy Cow all the early signings

  • Ryan Callahan stays with Tampa Bay for a lot of dough and a lot of years. [Raw Charge]
  • Ex-Blue Jacket Nikita Nikitin agrees to give Edmonton a shot for a lot of dough (but just a couple of years). [Copper n' Blue]
  • Marian Gaborik stays with the Kings for an eye-popping seven years. But the payout and cap hit are both very reasonable and there's no recapture penalties in it for Los Angeles if he retires before the end of it. So pop your eyes back in your head. [Jewels from the Crown]
  • Scratch Jonas Gustavsson off the free agent goalie list if you had him on there for some reason. He's going back to the Red Wings. [Winging it in Motown]

The Rest

  • The Penguins finally settled on Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston as Dan Bylsma's replacement, ruining a perfectly good parody post I had written. [SB Nation]
  • Why does nobody care about the NHL draft? Because nobody (except crazy people like us) have any idea who the draftees are. [SB Nation]
  • What it's like to actually be at the NHL Awards Show. [Jewels from the Crown]
  • Part two of the top play pushing players in the NHL, this time from the Western Conference. [Sporting News]
  • Making the circuit yesterday was the TSN Radio Tyler Dellow-Steve Simmons Stats vs Watch the Games argument heard round the hockey world.
  • Blackhawks blog The Committed Indian thinks Patrick Sharp's time in Chicago is coming to an end.
  • The Lightning bought out the final year of the contract of noted cocaine fan Ryan Malone. [Raw Charge]
  • Reminder: if you're in the Philly area tonight for the Draft (or any other reason), Broad Street Hockey and Puck Daddy are hosting a blog-celebrity-filled gala at McGillin's Olde Ale House, which is a real name of a real place and not a Simpson's joke or something. Anyway, go an enjoy if you can. Tell them we said "hi."