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Calvin de Haan enters free agency confident after shoulder surgery

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‘The best shoulder doctor in the world’ has the Islanders defenseman confident he’ll be ready

Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders
After surgery, was missing his buddies.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It was previously been reported by multiple outlets that Calvin de Haan has been drawing interest from many teams during the free agency “listening” period heading into July 1.

But Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet expanded on these reports (confirming that the Islanders have been in contact), and offered a window into de Haan’s thinking in a general free agent rumbling roundup Wednesday night.

If you thought de Haan was nervous about the major surgery as he entered his walk year, you don’t know* the Carp lad:

“I like to think I’m an easygoing guy. It’s kind of how we approached things. We had the best shoulder doctor on the planet. He was very positive.”

*I don’t either, to be clear. But you get the vibe.

Freidman’s roundup and de Haan’s quotes add that he and his agent made his medical records available to any team asking about him. Suffice to say — and we figured as much considering how many teams are showing interest — the injury recovery shouldn’t hurt his market price.

The coolest thing for Islanders fans in Friedman’s post may be how de Haan has handled this whole process. As mentioned earlier, all season long it just seemed to be a foregone conclusion that de Haan was leaving, with the Islanders never initiating contract talks befitting what he was about to command.

But de Haan handled it all like a pro, deftly handling trolls while exposed to Twitter sewage, accepting ribbing from media about how he was about to get paid — elsewhere — and maintaining his evident positive attitude even after having his season come to a jarring end breaking up a rush that directly led to a December overtime victory.

The Islanders’ season-long defensive woes really escalated after de Haan’s (and then soon after, Johnny Boychuk’s) injuries. They missed him. If he lands elsewhere, he’ll be tough to replace.

Given the number of suitors this is likely the last word on his Islanders career, but if it is, it’s one you can appreciate:

“It’s all I’ve ever known. I know people talk about the arena situation. It is what it is. The ice surface is 200 feet regardless. Great people. The worst part about being injured was watching my teammates, my buddies, not succeed. When you score as many goals as we do, you should make the playoffs. You want to be out there.”

There’s more on de Haan and others in Friedman’s post at Sportsnet, including the belief that the Sabres are “aggressive” in the chase for free agent goalie Carter Hutton, who’s also reportedly been contacted by the Islanders.