Teams around the NHL are declining to give qualifying offers to semi-decent players, a situation the New York Islanders do not find themselves in because they sign all of their players to long-term contracts.
Okay, that’s not exactly true or fair, but having forwards 1-12 locked up for eternity has removed some of the uncertainty from the past two offseasons. True, signings last summer weren’t announced until the eve of training camp, but they were deduecd.
The trade deadline extensions for Zach Parise and Cal Clutterbuck raised the question of what an Otto Koivula, for example, has gotta do to get a crack at the top 12? (Koivula, it is understood through Cap Friendly but not announced by the team, has been extended too.)
But anyway, around the league there are Tankers and Disappointed Teams who’ve let RFAs like Dylan Strome and Ilya Samsonov walk. That all adds some more fun as we wait for free agency to open Wednesday, and as we stretch and bend to find ways that some kind of coveted forward might end up in the Islanders’ hands.
- Could the Islanders land Johnny Gaudreau if he makes it to free agency? Absolu-probably not, but we are all obliged to consider how it would happen, if it happened. [Athletic]
- One quasi-notable player the Islanders did not renew nor qualify: Michael Dal Colle. Of course, that’s how things played out last year, and they still signed him. [Newsday]
- Alex Romanov is fearless and dedicated and hits hard. [Post]
- Join the Islanders for a round of golf. [Isles]
- Sharing this just for laughs (I don’t care about college sports and NCAA conference/cartel jockeying) for all who remember his effort to “woo” Isles fans in Brooklyn: “Brett Yormark’s Marketing and Sales Will Be Great for Big 12” [Pokes Report]
- After implying that they would qualify both Samsonov and Vitek Vanacek, they end up shipping off the latter and declining to qualify the former. [Japers’ Rink] I’m sure there’s been no tampering with whatever free agent goalie they end up landing.
- Samsonov was one of a handful of prominent RFAs who shall be cut free. Dylan Strome is another. Brendan “Son of and Even Worse Than Claude” Lemieux is not prominent, but he’s another. [NHL | Daily Faceoff]
- Six interesting RFA-turned UFAs. [Sportsnet]
- Here are the players who did receive qualifying offers. [NHL]
- The Maple Leafs solved their goalie questions by acquiring...Matt Murray! [TSN]
- The Flyers keep betting on a winning culture that they don’t have. [BSH]
- The Bruins are still hopeful that Patrice Bergeron and even David Krejci — who spent the year at home playing in the Czech league — might come back. [NHL]
- The Oilers have allowed Evander Kane permission to speak to other teams. [TSN]
- Some predictions on where the top free agents might end up. [ESPN] Or speculation, really. [Sportsnet]
- The Blues have traded or expansion-exposed David Perron twice, but each time he’s come back. This time, a cap squeeze may mean he hits the UFA market. [Athletic]
- The Avalanche signed Valeri Nichkushkin to an eight(!)-year deal. [NHL] Pretty cool outcome for a guy who had a rocky start to his career in Dallas (but who terrified me even then, whenever he’d get the puck with a head of speed). [Mile High Hockey]
- Apparently the Penguins have reached a six-year deal with Rickard Rakell. [PensBurgh]
- But Evgeni Malkin is supposedly ready to test free agency since the Penguins will only offer him three years. [Athletic]
- Six possible destinations for Malkin, including some non-Isles Metro teams. [Sportsnet]
- Top pick Juraj Slavkofsky enjoyed his first day of Canadiens prospect camp. [NHL]