With Ryan Pulock signing a bridge deal with the Islanders, will Lou Lamoriello do it again with Mathew Barzal next?
The Islanders were wise to get Ryan Pulock signed on a team-friendly deal. Actually, it’s a win-win for both sides. It gives him some certainty now, $10 million over two years, a significant raise for him, while also allowing for him to cash in again.
Ryan Pulock is 26 years old and will be 28 when his deal comes to an end. He would be primed to get a long-term deal at a higher cap number due to the return of revenue and the cap going up post-COVID.
The question I have now is do we see the same thing with RFA, Mathew Barzal? I’d assume, yes.
Barzal is 23 years old and coming off of his ELC where he was making $1.3 million while having a cap hit of $863,333 the last three years. Without a doubt, he’s due for a raise but it might not be that big long-term deal that some were anticipating.
How does $12 million over two-years sound? Barzal with a $6 million cap hit would be helpful as the Isles try to navigate the next two years in a cap crunch.
Part of this cap crunch is due to mistakes from Lou Lamoriello and Garth Snow, but a big chunk of it is due to the lost revenue and flat cap from COVID. If you look at CapFriendly, only 10 teams have more than $5 million in cap space and nine teams are over the cap.
The point? Nobody was prepared for this. All teams are struggling with the cap right now, and the Pulock signing and potential Barzal bridge deal could potentially help out the Islanders in their quest to navigate the next two seasons.
The next domino to fall should be the Barzal contract and then, we’ll have a much better idea of what the 2021 roster will look like.