New York Islanders training camp started today, and to everyoneâ€™s surprise, they still havenâ€™t re-signed franchise center Mat Barzal. Contract negotiations resumed just last week after the all the dates were announced. Regardless of this, Barzal could sign any day now. General manager Lou Lamoriello and fellow Islandersâ€™ teammates believe that Barzal will sign within the coming days.
Mat Barzal is currently on Long Island and is quarantining in hopes of joining his team immediately after signing his contract. Everyone around the Isles are confident in Barzalâ€™s new contract, but the terms of the deal have not been finalized.
When I think about this contract, I look at similar players around the league. Players like Mitch Marner and Pierre-Luc Dubois. These elite players got bridge deals after holding out for many, many months. Mat Barzal is no exception to this trend. Barzal is 100% looking at a 2-3 year deal. This helps both sides. The Islanders get time to resign all their guys like Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech, and Ilya Sorokin to long term deals. While Barzal can earn even more for a longer period of time-based on his play for the next few years. A bridge deal is the only deal in play here.
Excuse me if I sound like a broken record here, but the Islanders donâ€™t have a ton of salary cap. The terms of Matt Martinâ€™s contract has not come out yet. The same thing goes for Andy Greene.
I assume itâ€™s either the league minimum or very close to it. So, this leaves the Islanders with about $7.5 million dollars left to sign their franchise center. This is probably not enough to sign Barzal. But Lou Lamoriello can just send someone down or put Andrew Ladd on LTIR and solve this cap space issue. I believe the deal will come in at around $8.5-$9 million dollars. So, my final prediction for Mat Barzalâ€™s new contract is 3 years worth $8.7 million a year.