The wait is over, as Mat Barzal and the New York Islanders have agreed to terms on an eight-year extension.
Barzal’s new deal carries an AAV of $9.15 million.
The 25-year-old is coming off a strong 2021-22 campaign that saw him dish 15 goals and 44 assists for 59 points in 73 games. He was tied for first among Islanders scorers this past season. In 362 career games with New York, Barzal has 91 goals and 220 assists for 311 points.
“There’s just so much excitement. It’s one of those days you’re never going to forget it,” Mathew Barzal shared Tuesday following the initial announcement. “Called my parents last night when I got done & anytime your mom’s got a tear in her eye, you either did something really good or something really bad.”
“There’s so many people along the way that have helped me. And my family is at the forefront of that and really, really just wouldn’t be here without them today, and it’s a special day for me, my family.”
From the end of last season to the chats throughout the summer, Barzal’s mind has only been on Long Island. His words were truthful.
” I don’t think there was ever really any decision,” Barzal said. “It was more like I just love it here and never had any talks with anyone about going anywhere else, doing anything else.”
“I’m so happy that I get to spend eight years with a lot of these guys. It’s going to be really fun.”
New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told us back during the team’s annual golf outing that he was a big fan of Mat Barzal. And with this extension, he is putting trust in his 25-year-old forward.
“Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player. And now with this contract and our faith in him, that puts that responsibility on him,” Lamoriello shared Tuesday.” We’re trusting that. Now it’s up to him, also, to respond to that.”
“And there’s a comfort on both sides that that can and will happen, and that’s why it’s important to get something like this done.”
Lamoriello is not a fan of distractions, and he believed that not having Barzal signed would certainly be one this season.
“I’m sure it would have. Everybody’s different,” Lamoriello shared. “It’s not saying that you wouldn’t do something during the season. I’ve always made it a practice to try and not to [go through contract negotiations during season]. ”
Barzal shared that conversations between his agent, J.P. Barry, and Lou Lamoriello began a few months ago, with there always being confident that something would get done.
“I got a great agent, and obviously Lou is amazing at what he does, and I’m sure they had their battles in between, but at the end of the day, both sides are, I think, happy, and I think it’s a good deal for both sides.”
“Nobody’s ever completely happy, but nobody’s ever completely disappointed because they made the decision to do it,” Lamoriello shared regarding contract negotiations. He further shared that talks were rather calm from the start and that he has dealt with Barzal’s agent in the past and that, eventually, a deal came to fruition.
For Mathew Barzal, he will be 34 when his contract comes to an end following the 2031-32 season.
“I want to be the best player I can be and be one of the top players in the league and be that guy for this organization,” Mat Barzal said. “I think it really comes down to just winning, genuinely.”
“Committing here for eight years, like…trying to bring a Stanley Cup back to Long Island. That’s the ultimate goal.”