Unlike some other RFAs, New York Islanders star forward Mathew Barzal is in the city his team plays in and is waiting to sign a new contract.
The New York Islanders 2021 training camp opens this Sunday. And as it stands Mathew Barzal, their best player, has not yet been extended. Barzal is one of the remaining few RFAs who have yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.
On Thursday we were told that Barzal is in New York which, when you consider how some of the negotiations are going with other RFAs, it’s a big (and positive) sign.
Wants to Be Here
Mathew Barzal isn’t the only RFA without a contract leading into training camp. According to CapFriendly, there are nine RFAs still waiting to sign a new deal. The cream of the RFA crop is clearly Mathew Barzal and Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus Blue Jackets).
So while Barzal isn’t signed three days ahead of camp he’s at least in New York waiting for that deal to materialize and to report to camp when it does. Unlike Dubois who isn’t in Columbus right now and might even be looking to get out of town permanently.
The same situation applies to Winnipeg Jets RFA Jack Roslovic. Roslovic, the 25th overall pick in 2015, is (oddly enough) in Columbus rather than in Winnipeg waiting for training camp to open. it also seems that Roslovic is looking for a trade.
We know that Mathew Barzal wants to be with the Islanders because he’s here waiting for a deal. I’ve repeated it a number of times already, and I’ll say it again, we should not be worried about the Mathew Barzal contract negotiation. Barzal will re-sign.
Why is it taking so long? That’s a good question. I assume we’ll find out more on that when Lou Lamoriello addresses the media on Thursday and in the days that follow.