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REPORT: Islanders, Mathew Barzal Camp Have Been in ‘Constant Communication’

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Mathew Barzal

Mathew Barzal remains without a contract as the NHL and NHL Players Association works to hammer out parameters to get a 2021 season going by Jan. 13.

While a deal may not have been reached just yet between Barzal and the New York Islanders, the two sides have had “constant communication.” NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reported during Thursday’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading that the two sides have been talking and that he was getting a positive vibe out of the negotiations.

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“They’ve talked short term, medium term, long term deals,” LeBrun said. “Again getting a positive vibe out of that negotiation and we’ll see where that goes.”

The highest likelihood is that Mathew Barzal signs a two or three-year extension with the Islanders in the neighborhood of $7 million per year. Officially the Islanders have a mere $3.9 left in salary cap space, but will have Johnny Boychuk’s $6 million cap hit come off the books one way or another before the season starts.

New York also has to decide what they’re going to do with Andrew Ladd. There is a possibility the Islanders would place him on LTIR, which would allow them to utilize his $5.5 million cap hit elsewhere.

Mathew Barzal is the Islanders last major re-signing for the offseason and things between the two sides are likely to progress quickly once a firm start date is set for the 2021 season. The Islanders also reportedly have deals in place with Matt Martin, Andy Green and Cory Schneider.

Several reports indicated that the NHL had hoped to have a deal in place for owners and the players union to vote on by Friday, but at the time of publishing, no such deal had been put in place.

Barzal led the Islanders in points last season with 60 over the course of 68 games and his 19 goals were third on the team. Barzal added another 17 points and five goals in 22 games during the Islanders’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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[…] The start of training camp is just a couple of weeks away, but several high profile RFAs remain unsigned. The New York Islanders are still trying to find a way to sign Mathew Barzal (NYI Hockey Now) […]

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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