The end of the season isn’t here yet, but we’re already talking about possible offer sheets for New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal.
We’re all still reeling from John Tavares bolting for the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency. The fear that another team comes after our best players is real. So the fear of a team trying to pry Mathew Barzal away with an offer sheet is real.
Stoking the fires of that fear are Elliotte Friedman on the Spittin Chiclets podcast.
Look up the 1:36:14 mark of the podcast where Elliotte Freidman states that he believes offer sheets for Barzal will come. Not could. Will.
Look, there’s a good reason he believes this could happen.
Again, Mathew Barzal is the Islanders best player. He’s lead the team in points ever since he entered the league. He’s a dynamic forward who generates a ton of possession for his team and is one of the best players in the game at keeping the puck in the offensive zone.
He’s also a former Calder Trophy winner who can play at a point-per-game pace. And he’s only 22-years-old (he turns 23 in May). He’s a great player that’s only going to get better.
Other teams are going to want him.
With the acquisition of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the New York Islanders will have $12.6 million in cap space for the 2020-21 season. With Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews to sign, $12.6 million probably won’t be enough.
Teams see that as a potential opening to nab Barzal in the offseason.
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Islanders ownership in John Ledecky and Scott Malkin has shown they’ll spend when they need to spend. So when it comes to an offer sheet coming for their best player I’m sure they don’t think twice and match it.
But with Freidman’s words, Islanders fans anxieties have now been heightened.