The New York Islanders fan base can take a breath now. Mathew Barzal is now signed and was at practice on Saturday. Islander fans need to trust Lou Lamoriello a lot more.
New York Islander fans still have the psychological after-effects of the team being under Garth Snow for many years. The Islanders, of course, are now run by Lou Lamoriello, and that should give the blue and orange faithful a lot of confidence.
During this off-season at various times, especially these last two weeks when Mathew Barzal remained unsigned, many of the Islander fanbase were questioning Lamoriello. Islander fans should sleep easy at night knowing that Lamoriello is steering the Islander ship.
Why in Lou We Trust
While no one is infallible, the Isles went from being run by a below-average General Manager (to be kind) to one of the best in the game. On top of running a hockey team in terms of the roster, Lamoriello teams have that winning attitude, leadership, and intangible skills in droves.
Let’s start with the coach. Barry Trotz would not be on Long Island if Lamoriello was not hired. Trotz was at the perfect moment to take a year away from the game. Why would Trotz come and run a sub .500 team when so many better opportunities were just a year away at most? The answer is because the Isles were being run by Lou.
Lou has had a steady and smart hand running the Isles. He did not make any panic moves after John Tavares left for Toronto. He waited to make the right impact trade when he acquired J.G Pageau. Again he didn’t panic at the prior trade deadline when he wouldn’t pay the asking prices of Mark Stone or Matt Duchene.
All significant moves require strategic thinking and analysis for both the short and long term. With Lamoriello, you get a GM that does that day in and day out.
Many will critic the Devon Toews trade this off-season but no one could have predicted the salary cap crunch coming down to the ramifications of the Covid-19 virus. Having said that the Isles were destined to lose a good defenseman with the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft.
Analyzing the Barzal Deal
Signing Mathew Barzal to a new three-year deal is a move that works well, Lamoriello tried to move Thomas Hickey or Leo Komarov to get the extra cap space to get Barzal signed to a longer-term. At the end that didn’t happen probably because the trade costs for such a move were exorbitant.
Barzal is just 23 years of age. Two years from this July the Isles can lock him up to a long-term deal. He will have just turned 26. The Isles cap will have significantly more space at that time (Hickey, Komarov, Cal Clutterbuck will be off the books & Andrew Ladd will have one year left).
This is not a Taveras situation, Barzal wants to be here for a long time.
Islander fans your passion is terrific but always remember that you should have a lot of faith in Lou Lamoriello.