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Free Agency

Mathew Barzal Contract Looms Even Larger Over Islanders with Pulock Signed

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Mathew Barzal

All eyes in New York Islanders country are on Mathew Barzal.

The team’s star forward is now the Islanders lone unsigned restricted free agent after Ryan Pulock inked a two-year contract extension on Wednesday. The new deal for Pulock, who was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing on Friday, limits the Islanders to just $3.9 million in cap space at the current moment.

Nothing has changed with where Barzal’s new contract might come in at numbers-wise. The 23-year-old can expect a new deal worth somewhere around $7 million per year for a two, or three-year period, which would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent when things have stabilized financially across the NHL.

Under his new contract, Pulock finds himself in a similar spot. Though the talented defenseman said that didn’t come into mind when working out his new contract.

SIGNED! Islanders Lock up Ryan Pulock for Two More Years

“I don’t know if that was the thought,” Pulock said during a Zoom call on Wednesday. “I think the big thing for us was just trying to make something work that was good for both (sides) in terms of the flat cap. … Then down the road here in the future, we can hopefully work on something else.”

The Islanders have to hope Mathew  Barzal has had a similar thought process as Pulock.

The road to clearing cap space for Barzal remains arduous for Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello. The well has appeared to dry up in terms of potential trade partners that would take some of the Islanders more expensive contracts.

After Devon Toews was traded to Colorado last month, it was reported that a deal that would send Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million cap hit elsewhere. A deal never materialized and things have remained quiet around Isles country.

Leo Komarov, Andrew Ladd and even Semyon Varlamov were also rumored to be potentially delt to free up some cap space.

The Islanders have other avenues to make more room under the salary cap. LTIR remains an option, albeit a complicated one.

And when it comes to any news leaking from either camp, fuhgeddaboudit. Even fellow RFA Ryan Pulock couldn’t provide any insight into what Mathew Barzal is thinking at the moment.

The two did talk during the RFA process.

“Obviously we’re good friends and we talk,” Pulock said. “We both obviously want to make it work so that we can keep everyone together and I think that’s the main goal. We want to win together, we want to keep this team together. I think we’ve talked a little bit, but his business side of it is his doing.”

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[…] With Ryan Pulock inked, Mathew Barzal’s deal looms large on the horizon for the Islanders. Lou Lamoriello has some figuring to do. (NYIHockeyNow) […]

Free Agency

‘I love it on the Island,’ Mathew Barzal Puts to Bed Thought He’d Want to Play Elsewhere | NYHN+

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Mathew Barzal

It was as if Mathew Barzal was answering all of the naysayers directly on Saturday afternoon after news broke that he had signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension with the New York Islanders.

As the days went on and Barzal remained unsigned, many wondered what the hold up had been. What was taking so long? Former NHLer and Spittin’ Chicklets co-host Paul Bissonette even suggested Barzal hold out for “as long as possible” and that he didn’t think Barzal was having fun playing in Barry Trotz’s system.

That didn’t sit well with Islanders fans.

But Barzal put all of that to rest when he spoke on Saturday, expressing his love for Long Island and reiterating his excitement to be an Islander.

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Free Agency

SIGNED! Islanders, Mathew Barzal Agree on 3-Year Bridge Deal

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Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders

The long wait is over for fans, the New York Islanders, and Mathew Barzal.

The team and Barzal agreed to a new three-year contract on Saturday, per the Fourth Period’s Dave Pagnotta, who delivered the news.

Mathew Barzal’s three-year deal carries a $7 million AAV, according to PuckPedia. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Mathew Barzal will be paid $4 million in the first year, $7 million in the second year and $10 million in the final year of the contract.

The news is a welcomed relief to Islanders fans who had been waiting with bated breath after weeks of negotiations between the two sides. Training camp opened earlier this week without the Islanders’ star player on the ice.

However, his absence didn’t concern teammates, who expressed confidence that a deal would be worked out in short order.

Barzal was on the ice for the first time with his teammates on Saturday morning, just after news of the new contract had broke. Making up for lost time, Barzal scored twice in the Islanders’ third scrimmage of training camp, Andrew Gross reported.

Part of the holdup for the deal had been the Islanders’ complicated financial situation. General manager Lou Lamoriello had reportedly been working to try and move some pieces to free up more cap space.

The Islanders had been working with $3.09 million in free cap space.

With Mathew Barzal now agreed to a new deal, the Islanders are now $3.09 million projected over the salary cap with a 21-man roster and Johnny Boychuk’s $6 million cap hit, according to PuckPedia.

The Islanders could still make a move before Tuesday when they need to become cap compliant to start the season.

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Free Agency

CLOCK IS TICKING! Mathew Barzal Remains Unsigned as Training Camp Nears

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Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders

There wasn’t much in the way of an update on where things stand with Mathew Barzal on Thursday when Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello spoke with reporters.

Lamoriello had no update on the Islanders star player, who remains unsigned just days away from the start of training camp. However, Barzal is on Long Island quarantining for the start of camp on Sunday.

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“We will certainly work at this with the hope to have him on the first day of training camp,” Lamoriello said on a Zoom call.

Talks between the Islanders and Mathew Barzal have appeared to be in a holding pattern since the season ended in September. Things between the two sides have picked up recently, but hockey insider Darren Dreger reported on Thursday that a deal was not close.

As the days have inched closer to the start of the season, concern has started to rise among the fanbase. And the Islanders are now in a situation where Barzal may not be on the ice for the start of camp.

Lamoriello wouldn’t even contemplate that thought when asked about it on Thursday.

“We still have a few days until training camp, so I don’t want to get into any hypotheticals,” Lamoriello responded. “It is our intention and his intention to be there and hopefully that will happen.”

Lou Speaks: Ho-Sang Snub, UFAs and Barzal Drama

The expectation is that Mathew Barzal will get a bridge deal in the neighborhood of two or three years worth around $7 million per year. Earlier on Thursday, fellow restricted free agent, Pierre-Luc Dubois signed a two-year, $10 million extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Islanders have been in a bit of a cap crunch since the offseason began. They currently have $3.9 million in cap space, but with Johnny Boychuk ending his career in November, the Islanders will get a bit more cap space to work with.

The Islanders could make an additional maneuver to free up some more cap space before the season begins.

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