Long Island seems to be in some major trouble. Ever since he sprung into the league as a rookie, Mat Barzal has been one of the most electrifying players to watch in the entire NHL. His insane speed and mad hands are the perfect combos for a superstar in this league. It hasn’t been as smooth heading into the new season for the Isles and Barzal’s camp. We are just four days away from the NHL season starting and Barzel is nowhere to be found in Long Island.
#Isles camp has begun with off-ice testing today and Mathew Barzal is officially a holdout. Barry Trotz confirmed Barzal is not in camp yet, though he has been on LI.
"You have to make sure you're adaptable," Trotz said. "We're going to worry about who we can put on the ice."
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) January 3, 2021
We saw a similar situation in Toronto with Mitch Marner. Barzal is holding out until he gets his next deal on his contract. While most fans believe that Barzal is worth every penny (and rightfully so), the cap situation is tight for the Islanders. They are going to need some major cap to restructure if they want to give Barzal a max extension he wants.
Until then, the Islanders should just have Barzal’s camp agree to a short-term bridge deal of two-years so he can max out his pay on his next contract. The range would be around $6-7 million to start and then he can make out with the bank after the contract is up. That is the easy way to get Barzal at camp and prepare for the season.
The hard way is making some trades to clear cap space to sign Barzal to a max extension of seven or eight years. Either way, the Isles are in trouble right now with their superstar nowhere to be found at practice. This holdout needs to end soon or Isles fans will start going insane.