Sportsnet: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on the New York Islanders and restricted free agent forward Mathew Barzal.
** NHLRumors transcription
“I look at Islanders, and I look at the nature of the deals to key players on that team, and it’s not just a couple of them, it’s not just the decimal point, it’s the term as well. This is gonna be more than just a tricky one for Lou Lamoriello to sort out.
Is it not? I know it’s Lou and he’s a vet and cagey and all that, but this is a tall order.”
“It is and it isn’t. Like, I think at the end of the day, Burkie, you know Lamoriello as well as anyone, if he wants to get something done, it’s going to get done, and it’s just a matter of how they get to that point.
Here we go, he’s admitted they signed Matt Martin, Corey Schneider and Andy Greene, but I don’t think they’ve filed those contracts with the league office yet. So, he’s doing what he needs to do to work it all out. I just think at the end of the day, it is complicated or else it probably would be, they might have closed it already. I think they are still grinding away at the contract, I still think they are grinding at other things. Like I said, I think it gets done. I have no reason to believe it’s not going to get done but it sounds like it’s really complicated between the deal Barzal gets and the maneuvers that have to happen around it.”
Friedman when asked it will be a short-term bridge deal or something longer.
“You know Anthony, I think he wanted all the money, I think they are happy to give it to him, I just don’t, if you look at Barzal, again with Lamoriello involved it’s all guessing right? Nothing leaks.
I had heard that if it’s a long-term deal he was looking at the Marner, Rantanen comparable. Which he should look at. That is what you should aim for. Barring the Islanders be able to move some bodies out, I just don’t know if they can do that. I think Barzal wants a long-term deal. I think they’re happy to give him a long-term deal, just don’t know if they can.
So I’ve been led to believe it’s gonna be bridge, and if you look at the Islanders cap situation, I think it really clears up in the summer of ’23. So if they go bridge and then can extend him, that might be the more likely scenario Jeff, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t tried to go longer-term.
I don’t look at the situation here and see, like we know obviously there is an issue with Dubois in Columbus, and we know there is an issue with Laine in Winnipeg, I don’t get the sense there is any issue with Barzal and the Islanders.”