What do the New York Islanders do with Mathew Barzal as his contract is set to expire? Is it possible he gets drafted by Seattle in the expansion draft? No. And here’s why.
As an RFA with no arbitration rights, Barzal is a controllable asset for the Islanders and a contract is all but guaranteed between the two parties. The question then shifts to will it be a long-term contract or a short-term contract?
A short-term deal, four years or less will carry a smaller cap hit by virtue of not eating any UFA years. But it also has the significant disadvantage of walking Barzal right up to UFA status if it goes all four years.
A long-term deal would eat a few of those UFA years – an eight-year deal – would take him to the end of the 2027-28 season where Barzal will be 31 by July 1.
But NY Post’s Brett Cyrgalis believes there’s a third option. The expansion draft.
Cyrgalis feels that Barzal wants to play in Seattle; Barzal played his junior hockey in Seattle and was born less than a three-hour drive from Seattle. And as such, the Isles could allow Barzal to be the face of the NHL’s 32nd franchise. For a fee of course.
Here are three reasons that plan doesn’t add up.