The Islanders announced they’ve extended qualifying offers to Christopher Gibson, Adam Pelech and Connor Jones, as well as now-veteran NHLer Calvin de Haan. That leaves out Stephon Williams, Jesse Graham, Loic Leduc and Matt Finn. Assuming those last four don’t get a last-minute QO by 5 p.m. today (which would be unusual), they’d become unrestricted free agents on Saturday.
Some good kids left on the outside there, but the way they were used this year, that news perhaps isn’t surprising. The three defensemen combined for 54 AHL games this year, Leduc’s 33 making up over half of them. Finn spent almost the entire season with Missouri, and Graham spent much of the year there. Williams was barely used down the stretch as Brent Thompson rode Eamon McAdam.
The Travis Hamonic trade and the departure of Jake Bischoff in the expansion-draft maneuvering meant the Big Club was going to need to replenish the depth on defense anyway. These moves add to the volume.
Speaking of Thompsons, the one name that popped to me on the Rangers’ development-camp list yesterday was a Thompson: Tyce. Pretty funny to see that (especially a day after Arthur Staple’s awesome story in three parts on Gordie Clark’s old-habits slip at the draft; I miss that guy), but from what we’re told, they invited him, it’s a chance for development and a chance to do it separate from dad, so why not.
And speaking of Rangers, perhaps the most notable name reported as not-qualified for them was goalie Mackenzie Skapski. Did we mention Ottawa and Matt O’Connor when Bruce Garrioch reported it? Can’t remember. So goalies going ’round, apparently. Mike Russo has had Minnesota’s the past while. Edit: Alt-tab back over, and Lindsay has Tampa’s.