New York Islanders How the Auston Matthew’s Contract Affects Barzal
By Ian Miniero
The New York Islanders have to decide on Mathew Barzal’s contract at the end of next year. Do the Islanders take a similar approach to his contract as the Toronto Maple Leafs did with Auston Matthews?
Can the New York Islanders work out a deal with less cost per year with more length than the one the Toronto Maple Leafs sign with star player Auston Matthews? One would have to imagine that at the very least the average annual value is going to be roughly the same.
Austin Matthew’s new deal is five years at $58.17 million with an average annual value at $11.634 million. The New York Islanders have to come in at a number close to that for Barzal in 2020.
Mathew Barzal has become the franchise center this year I think that is obvious to anyone that follows hockey and roots for the Islanders. His 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points are good for the leading point man on the team. Also, his career numbers are just under a point per game with 132 points in 136 games.
Do the Islanders convince Barzal to take a longer deal that’s more team friendly similar to the one Connor Mcdavid signed? Or does it go the Austin Matthews route with fewer years of potential free agency bought out?
What Do You Do
I think you have to try for at least a seven or eight year deal for Barzal. How about $85 million over seven years that would bring his average annual cost at $12.14 million. I don’t know if that’s a happy medium between the McDavid and Matthews’s deals, but you do get at least one year of potential free agency bought out.
The cap is also going to go up in the coming years, so maybe a $12 to $13 million average annual value doesn’t look so crazy when you have a player like Barzal under contract for an extended period. Keeping Barzal happy and locked into this team is critical in the coming years.
You also don’t have to do anything this year with him, unlike Matthews who was in the last year of his ELC.
Doing well in the playoffs also brings Barzal closer to this deal. If all goes well, this team will finish the season strong and challenge a perennial playoff team like Washington or maybe Pittsburgh in the first round.
The key is beating one of those teams and advancing past the second round. Otherwise, you risk this season looking similar to the season the Devils had last year and the couple of seasons this team had during the Capuano years.
You want the success to keep adding up and never have Barzal doubt the direction that this franchise is headed towards.
I think in the end Barzal gets locked in for at least six to seven years and hopefully, by that time this team’s core is solidified and ready to challenge for a title.