Barzal had a solid 2020 campaign with 19 goals, 41 assists, and 60 points in a shortened 68 game season. However, he truly shined in the playoffs. With 5 goals and 12 assists in 22 games, he led the Islanders to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1993.
The smooth-skating forward hasn’t signed a new deal, and with the NHL hoping to start around mid-January, there should be some sense of urgency to get a deal done. The speculation is that Barzal is looking for a contract with an AAV of 8.5 million dollars. Islanders GM, Lou Lamoriello was said to have offered Barzal a deal with an AAV of 7 million dollars. Although an offer-sheet is a possibility, when asked about it Lamoriello said “We intend to not allow it to get to that point… Should that happen, the answer is yes (they would match)”.
The Islanders have around 4 million dollars in cap space, so they will need to reallocate players to fit Barzal. Despite who, that may be the Islanders will look to get a deal done before training camp begins. The Islander center should be expected to get the 8.5 he wants. A 3-year bridge deal is the most realistic option for him, but the Islanders will try to sign him for as long as possible. A 6 or 7 deal would be ideal for the Islanders to ensure their superstar remains an Islander for the duration of his career.
Why the Islanders Need to Sign Barzal
After three seasons of his NHL career, Barzal has become a centerpiece in the Islander’s franchise. While Coach Barry Trotz emphasizes a style of play in which Barzal does not dominate opponents, his speed and skill are essential to Trotz’s system. Matthew Barzal has steadily become a top center in the NHL.