Whenever New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal has the puck on his stick, there is no way to know where he will go with the puck.
Will he take the puck behind the net? How about along the boards? Or maybe he will cut to the middle of the ice, breaking ankles in the process.
No one knows, and while his elite edge work makes him a deceptive player, sometimes referees get in the way.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski was on hand in Vegas for NHL media day and asked players a variety of questions, one being if they could make a rule change, what would it be?
Take a guess.
If Barzal could have it his way, he would limit the number of officials on the ice to just two because three is too many.
“The league needs to find a way to only have two refs on the ice,” Barzal said to Wyshynski. The refs are in the way all the time. There needs to be a way to have the game controlled without officials being in the way. It’s always happening.”
Two officials on the ice would create more space for sure, but it would also mean a lot more missed calls. I say, let the boys play more and focus less on catching every infraction, but that’s my opinion.
The NHL game is now one of speed and skill, and the more ice given to these players, as evident in three-on-three overtime, the more beautiful the game becomes.
Mathew Barzal was also a guest on the ’32 Thoughts’ podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek and explained why he loved being on Long Island so much.
Have a listen HERE
Now let’s get to the other stories in the Rosner Wrap portion.
NYI Hockey Now: Over the first four days of New York Islanders development camp, former Islanders defenseman and 13-year NHL veteran Johnny Boychuk has been on the ice with prospects. Following Sunday’s skate, the New York Islanders shared with us that the fan favorite has an official job with the organization. Johnny Boychuk‘s role with the organization will be in player development. New York Islanders.
NYI Hockey Now: On Monday, New York Islanders general manager preached his confidence in his most talented forward Mathew Barzal as contract extensions have become the talk of the town. New York Islanders.
NYI Hockey Now: Mathew Barzal was not the only player discussed in our chat with Lou Lamoriello, as we discussed the reasoning why no one was brought in on PTOs. New York Islanders.
NYI Hockey Now: Zack Bross has learned the Long Island way from his time with LIU’s men’s hockey team including being the first captain in program history. Now the six-foot forward is taking his talent to the New York Islanders ECHL affiliate, the Worcester Railers. New York Islanders.
Boston Hockey Now: With off-ice testing set to take place on Tuesday and the first on-ice sessions for NHL training camp on Wednesday, now was the perfect time for the playmaking center to roll into town and get ready for another run with the Black and Gold. Boston Bruins.
Philly Hockey Now: The Philadelphia Flyers were counting on Sean Couturier, who missed most of last season because of back surgery, to lead a revival in 2022-23. Ain’t happening. Philadelphia Flyers.
Washington Hockey Now: The Washington Capitals rookies were in action ahead of training camp this past week, as Hendrix Lapierre, Vincent Iorio and 16 other prospects took the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex for a mini-camp. Washington Capitals.
Montreal Hockey Now: With numbers starting to dwindle, here are some last-minute options that the Montreal Canadiens to invite to training camp on a professional try-out (PTO). Montreal Canadiens.
Vegas Hockey Now: The Vegas Golden Knights finished their 2022 Rookie Faceoff tournament Monday in San Jose with a 4-3 loss against the Anaheim Ducks. They finish the tournament with a 1-1-1 record. A total of 28 prospects played in the tournament against prospects from the Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, and Ducks. Vegas Hockey Now.
Vancouver Hockey Now: Game 2 for the Canucks in the weekend Young Stars Classic against the Winnipeg Jets lacked the same excitement and vigour we saw in the 3-0 win against the Calgary Flames on Friday night, but it still resulted in a 4-1 victory. The more methodical feel was a natural byproduct of playing with a bit more discipline and structure. Vancouver Canucks.
Calgary Hockey Now: “That was like the end of the text, though. He was like, Love you guys, whatever, all that stuff. He’s like I don’t give any deals. And then he left the chat.” That’s what the last text Nazem Kadri sent in his Colorado Avalanche group chat. Calgary Flames.