New York Islanders‘ franchise center, Mat Barzal is due for a new contract this year. NHL free agency is about to start, so time is ticking to get a deal done. Should Islanders fans worry about Barzal leaving?
My answer: nope, shouldn’t even think about it. Mat Barzal isn’t leaving no matter what; he physically can’t leave. Barzal won’t even make it to a point where he would receive an offer sheet. Lou Lamoriello has got this in the bag, but what does the deal look like? Everything in this article is based on NRD’s most recent report.
The two sides haven’t reached a number that works for everyone. It’s similar to the Andrei Svechnikov situation. Lou Lamoriello is looking to reach a deal worth $7.5 million a year. But, Barzal’s camp has decided that that number is not large enough for their liking. Do not fear Islanders fans, both sides are very optimistic about getting a deal done soon. The threat of an offer sheet is reportedly very low. My guess is that the camp is looking for a contract around $8-$9 million range. Lou Lamoriello will figure something out, he always does.
The length is not what everyone wants it to be. I can guarantee this won’t be a 7-year deal. NRD has stated that they believe it will turn into a bridge deal. A bridge deal would help both sides.
Barzal’s side gets a good deal and the chance to earn even more money in around 3-4 years. The Islanders get their franchise player for cheaper than expected and can use the extra money to resign Pulock and Toews. The flat cap also makes this contract length more likely. The Isles need to penny-pinch if they want to keep this same team together. And now that the cap won’t increase for the next two years, a bridge deal is their best bet to do just that.