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Islanders & NHL News: Free agency opens today

Happy Canada Day to our friends from the north. An annual tradition returns.

New York Islanders v Ottawa Senators
The Islanders have been legitimately connected to DeBrincat.
Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

It is Canada Day, which also means it’s free agency day now that the NHL is getting back to its normal schedule. The bell rings at noon, and there will be signings by 12:01 p.m. ET. Not tampering, though, he said, winking like he squirted a lemon in his eye.

The New York Islanders have some cap room to work with this year, and their interest in Alex DeBrincat has been discussed by reputable insiders. There were some interesting buyouts on the last day of the window, including Matt Duchene, and some intriguing options among players who did not receive qualifying offers and thus became unrestricted free agents. Plus, Elliotte Friedman wrote late last night that other teams hoping to speak with Scott Mayfield believe he is “all but re-signed” with the Islanders.

It figures to be an interesting day.

Islanders News

  • Friedman reported that DeBrincat to the Detroit Red Wings, long speculated because it’s his hometown team, was looking unlikely and that the Islanders had checked in and had the room. [32 Thoughts—29:10 mark] Bruce Garrioch also reported that the Islanders were interested, but perhaps he was parroting Friedman. [Ottawa Sun]
  • Despite all that, we should probably pump the brakes and not expect much, says Andrew Gross. [Newsday]
  • Ethan Sears writes that the Isles’ priorities appear to be on their own free agents. [NY Post] It will require an understanding that they will have to accept the roles they’re in. [NY Post]
  • However, Friedman did write that Mayfield seems to be back, among other nuggets, like Ryan Reaves to the Toronto Maple Leafs on a multi-year deal. [Sportsnet]
  • Not to mention, “there is the belief” that Semyon Varlamov has a two-year deal in place.
  • Only Oliver Wahlstrom and Jakub Skarek received qualifying offers from the Islanders. Bode Wilde, Blade Jenkins, and Collin Adams did not. Parker Wotherspoon is a Group VI UFA. [THN]
  • The Islanders like working with Wuhstah: They extended their affiliation agreement with the ECHL Worcester Railers. [Islanders]
  • Greg Picker, radio color commentator for the Islanders and co-host of Talkin’ Isles, joined Mike and Dan to discuss Weird Islander Kip Miller, who qualifies with under 100 games despite three separate stints in blue and orange. [LHH]


  • Nashville Predators GM Barry Trotz decided to eat six years of Duchene’s buyout cap hit rather than let him hang around for three years. Duchene would be an interesting target. [NHL]
  • The Winnipeg Jets had been trying to offload the last year of Blake Wheeler’s deal to no avail, so they bought him out. [NHL]
  • Mike Reilly has been bought out by the Boston Bruins. [TSN]
  • If you backstop a team to a Stanley Cup similar to Ken Dryden, you get paid for it: Adin Hill got a two-year deal from the Vegas Golden Knights with an AAV of $4.9 million. [NHL]
  • Jesse Puljujarvi, Daniel Sprong, and Denis Gurianov are among the players who did not receive qualifying offers. Sprong would be great and probably cheap. [NHL]