Trading Mathew Barzal straight up to the Colorado Avalanche for Matt Duchene would be a bad move for the New York Islanders.
Recently hockey insider Elliotte Friedman broke a story stating the Colorado Avalanche would send Matt Duchene to the New York Islanders for Mathew Barzal and Ilya Sorokin. At face value that may seem like a slam dunk for the Isles. However, trading Barzal for Duchene is a no-sale move for the blue and orange.
With Ilya Sorokin signing a 3-year extension with CSKA Moscow recently the New York Islanders future goaltending took a big hit. Many have always felt that Swedish goalie Linus Soderstrom was the Isles best choice moving forward and was going to be their future number one in between the pipes.
With Sorokin’s extension, it’s clear the Isles are not moving one of their talented young goalie’s at this time.
Yours truly can hear Isles Twitter nation calling me a dummy (maybe even worse) as this is being written. How could the Isles not trade Barzal an unknown commodity for a known player in Duchene?
New York Islanders
First, let’s start with years of controllability between the two players. Duchene has only two years of control left, while Barzal has seven. That difference is as big as the Grand Canyon.
Yes, the Canadiens just traded top prospect Mikhail Sergachev who also has seven years of control like Barzal. But in return, they received Jonathan Drouin who still had four years of control left at the time of the trade.
Not too sound like a jerk but remember the phrase that James Carville made popular “it’s the economy stupid”? Well, same can be said about the state of the NHL salary cap.
Duchene has two more years to go with an annual cap hit of $6 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Barzal still has to get through all three years of his entry-level contract (annual cap hit of 863K).
In two years time assuming Duchene plays well, whatever team he is with at that point will have to pay him on a very large 7-8 year contract.
Trading Barzal for Duchene is a scenario where the Isles would be trading a top future talent and having to pay the newly acquired player as a premium free agent in the very near future. Keep in mind how fast players salaries are rising and how slow the cap is going up.
The Hockey News Spring Future Watch listed Barzal as the eighth best prospect in the sport. He has huge offensive talent, skill, vision, skating, and he makes everyone around him better.
It’s possible that Barzal will be better than Duchene in the near future. One cannot rule out that the Islanders have a future superstar on their hands in Barzal.
Finally, let’s not forget Duchene is coming off a terrible year (41 points, -34). I’ll say it once again, Duchene has only scored three more goals than Brock Nelson the last three years. Because of these reasons if it takes Barzal to land Duchene, Garth needs to walk away and find another solution.