There should be no worries. Mathew Barzal will be extended by the New York Islanders before the 2021 training camp is set to open on January 3.
A rumor today indicated that contract negotiations between the New York Islanders and Mathew Barzal are scheduled to “pick up” as the team gear up towards training camp. The exact wording of the rumor had some Isles fans a little worried.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period indicated over Twitter that: “A deal isn’t close (as of this afternoon), but there has been an open dialogue (daily talks) & Barzal was set to return to the Island as early as this weekend.”
While that doesn’t sound great, there really is no reason to worry.
There’s no reason to think that a deal won’t get done with the Islanders. Let’s put Barzal’s situation into perspective for a second, because things have gotten better year over year for Barzal since going pro in 17-18.
In year one, he won the Calder Trophy with an 85 point season. In year two he made the second round of the playoffs. And in year three (last season), Barzal led the Islanders to the Eastern Conference Finals and was two wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals.
Things are good on the Island for him. Could he want a huge payday after putting up three solid years with 207 points in 234 games? Absolutely. But it’s not like he could get that top dollar in today’s economy.
Only four teams have $9 million+ on the cap at the moment. The Columbus Blue Jackets, the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, and the New Jersey Devils.
Three of those teams are either entering a rebuild or are in the middle of one. The Columbus Blue Jackets may not be in a rebuilt but they play a similar style to the Islanders but are less talented. Now add the fact that since Barzal entered the league in 2017, those teams have combined for 35 playoff games (13-22 record) while the Islanders have 30 games and a 17-13 record.
Why would Barzal chase paper only to end up in a worse situation?
These negotiations will get done in time for camp. It will likely be around the $7 million AAV for three years. That third year will pay out Barzal enough to lead him into that big contract he wants (and will certainly deserve) when it’s all said and done.
Here’s how I would set up Barzal’s contract to hold a $7 million AAV over three years with the third year paying him $9 million.
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It’s nervy to be this close to training camp and still not have Mathew Barzal under contract, but this will work itself out in time for training camp in one week.