Mathew Barzal and Offer Sheets
We all got quite a fright the other day when Elliotte Friedman told the Spittin Chiclets podcast that offer sheets will come for Mathew Barzal. Other teams will target the Islanders star centerman and try to pry him away from the Island.
We already knew that the Islanders were in a bind when it came to the salary cap next year. With Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews all needing new contracts next season, the Islanders are going to have to get creative to make it all work.
Naturally, teams are going to try and take advantage of that situation. Maybe if they make a massive offer sheet the Islanders just won’t have the money to match it and they’ll be forced to take the draft pick compensation.
The question of an offer sheet came up in the Q&A and Lou squashed it:
"Question from Tyler McGivney: If Mat Barzal is presented with an offer sheet, will you match? It is our intention to not allow it to get to that point, but should that happen, the answer is yes."
There’s no uncertainty here. The Islanders are prepared to have Barzal signed before July 1 (or whenever free agency is this year). And if for some reason they still get to free agency without Barzal under contract they are prepared to match any possible offer sheet.
The rumors are going to come until Barzal signs a deal, but there’s no reason to suggest Barzal is unhappy and wants out. I don’t see a reason to think he’ll hit free agency let alone actually sign an offer sheet with another team.