New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal is swift on his skates and known for his style of the ice.
He's also a music lover and apparent Taylor Swift fan.
At NHL All-Star Media Day, where the questions can often veer off from hockey, Barzal was first asked if he was a football fan and would be watching the Super Bowl next weekend. "I love football," said Barzal. "I'm riding Patty Mahomes. He's the best, and I love watching greatness."
The three-time All-Star was then asked if he was annoyed at all by the Taylor Swift - Travis Kelce relationship and all the attention it receives. "No, it doesn't annoy me at all. I really don't understand the whole thing with people saying it's annoying. I kinda like it," said Barzal."
"I like Taylor and Travis Kelce; sure, he's outspoken and whatnot, but his game speaks for himself," added the 26-year-old. "He's a gamer."
Granted, that isn't enough to make Barzal a confirmed "Swiftie," but the internet is resourceful, and there's a photo circulating of a teenage Barzal attending the Swfits' Red Tour over a decade ago in 2013. There is also a Barzal-themed t-shirt version of The Eras Tour you can purchase.
We know Taylor's NFL allegiance is now with the Chiefs, but as far as we know, she hasn't adopted an NHL franchise as her own, although we do know she has some Islanders gear from the skit she did with Jimmy Fallon in 2015 (nevermind that she also wore a Rangers jersey).
As Islanders fans know, Barzal has some musical talents of his own, thanks to an assist from former teammate Jordan Eberle. While Barzy and Ebs may never ever get back together, he picked up the guitar from his former linemate and started practicing during the Covid pandemic.
When the playoff bubble started, Barzal was pictured with a guitar case when the team arrived in Toronto. He stuck with it through the years, and proof that came this cruel summer when he played his guitar live on stage for the first time, showing us that his skillset goes beyond the flashy puck-handling we've come to know all too well.
Back to football. In September, Barzal was. a guest on the NHL Network was asked about his NFL fandom. He said he was more of a "cheer for a player" type of guy but more of a fan of his fantasy team. Given the state of the Jets and Giants since he's been on Long Island, you can't blame him.
He's in an Islanders fantasy league that includes Thomas Hickey. The week Hickey and Mike Rupp caught up with Barzal, he had just been dominated by the MSG Networks Analyst and blamed Justin Fields' poor performance as the reason for it. Someone should ask who ended up winning.
Barzal already has a reputation for being one of the most dynamic players in the league.
He's also the face of the franchise, an All-Star, and a Swiftie.