The NHL Silly Season is here: With the draft weekend behind us, unrestricted free agents can now talk to other teams (no specific contract terms though, we swear!), while restricted free agent get the same window starting Wednesday, June 26. Then on July 1, all hell breaks loose.
But first, how did the Islanders do at the draft? Prospect junkies generally say “meh,” but for different reasons. (For example, at the Athletic, both Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler gave them average grades but for largely different reasons. Everyone has their prospect pets and rationales.)
Of course, it’s too early to tell, and the two kids they picked at 23 and 57 are good talents; it’s just everyone disagrees on where they should fall in a ranking of the top 80 18-year-olds. Time will tell.
Look for a new Islanders Anxiety from Dan and Mike a little later reacting to the draft and the New Uncertainty with our beloved free agents.
- Here’s our wrap of draft coverage with links to each pick and the overall stream. [LHH] Lou Lamoriello, like every GM in the history of ever, was happy with what they did at the draft. [Newsday]
But with just five picks, none in sexy spots, we knew the Islanders draft would likely take a back seat to what comes next: Free agency looming over the franchise:
- Anders Lee is still unsigned, sounds a little frustrated, but both sides would still like to reach a deal. One just needs to blink. Now Lee is going to get to hear from other teams. [LHH | NHL | Newsday]
- Robin Lehner, on the other hand, is still unsigned but focused solely on finding a deal with the Islanders. Hopefully they treat him fairly rather than ruthlessly. [Newsday]
- So what lies ahead for the Islanders? Could get crazy. Big week here. [Athletic]
- While not worrying about their future with New York teams, Lee and Kevin Shattenkirk were helping inspire local youngsters with cancer. [Newsday]
The big news from the weekend included a couple of major trades and a high-profile RFA who is making Toronto sweat:
- P.K. Subban traded, without retaining salary, to the Devils for a couple of 2nd-round picks and a couple of young defensemen. [On the Forecheck | All About the Jersey] He says he’s ready to prove he has a lot of hockey left. [NHL]
- J.T. Miller moved to the Canucks to help Tampa’s cap issues. [Raw Charge]
- Patrick Marleau dumped to Carolina to help Toronto’s cap issues, at the price of a first-round pick. [Canes Country]
- And Mitch Marner, apparently rejecting Leafs offers, still wanting the moon and ready to hear from other teams. [Yahoo Sports]
- At long last, the salary cap for 2019-20 was announced. [NHL]
- The Seattle expansion team hired a young up-and-comer from the analytics world to help guide their roster planning. [Seattle Times]
- Lots of signs of diversity among future players at the draft. [Color of Hockey]
- It was a banner year for the US National Team Development Program, with eight players from their squad being selected in the first round alone. [NHL]
This is frankly amazing. Don Cherry, random rant citing selective players, with outstanding replies: