On Saturday, the Mat Barzal contract saga finally came to a close. The New York Islanders announced that Barzal’s contract is three years long and is worth $21 million.
Breakdown of the Mat Barzal Contract
The new Mat Barzal contract is rather confusing. The contract is three years long and worth $21 million but he will not be making $7 million a season. In the first season of the Mat Barzal contract, he will only make $4 million. In the second season of the contract, Barzal will make $7 million. In the final year of the contract, he will make $10 million.
The Mat Barzal contract helps out both the team and the player. For the Islanders, the contract is beneficial because they obviously locked down their franchise player for at least three more seasons. It also helps the Islanders because he has a low cap hit for the first season of the contract and the Islanders are in a cap crunch. Currently, the team is over the salary cap ceiling but they can put Johnny Boychuk on long-term injured reserve and get under the cap ceiling.
For Barzal, the contract is good because he is obviously getting paid good money for his production. But, when he becomes a free agent again in three years, he will be able to demand at least $10 million a season. That is assuming his production stays the same or improves.
What Has Barzal Brought to the New York Islanders
Over the past three seasons, Barzal has been the Islanders best and most electric player. He started his career off with a bang as he won the Calder trophy. The Calder trophy is given to the rookie who is deemed to have had the best regular season. During his rookie season, Barzal had 85 points. Of the 85 points, 63 of those points were assists. Barzal was on a line with John Tavares at the time. The dynamic duo couldn’t carry the Islanders into the playoffs, but it did show that Barzal was the real deal.
Unfortunately, the Barzal/Tavares duo only last one season as Tavares left to go sign a massive contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Critics of Barzal"s said his production would take a hit and he wouldn’t be able to produce the same as he had when Tavares was playing with him.
Technically they were right as Barzal’s point total dropped from 85 to 62. Although his production went down, the team was more successful for some reason. The team made the playoffs and made some noise as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. The team ran out of momentum in the second round when they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Coming into his third season in the NHL, Barzal was determined to make it his best season. He was on pace to make it very close to his best season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barzal was only able to play 68 regular-season games. In those 68 games, Barzal had 60 points. 19 of the 60 points were goals.
The Islanders were able to reach the playoffs again and Barzal continued to impress. He led the Islanders through the first two rounds of the playoffs. They matched up with the eventual Stanley Cup champions in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Tampa Bay Lightning outplayed them by a lot but one bright spot was Mat Barzal. He played 22 playoff games for the Islanders and scored five goals to go along with 12 assists.
The new Mat Barzal contract will be a very smart signing for both the Islanders and Barzal. Barzal has shown the ability to play on the first line of the lineup and still be a star player. His speed and excellent playmaking abilities make him one of the most feared players around the league. After signing the new contract, Dailyfaceoff projects that the Islanders will play him on the first line alongside Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle. This line should be deadly for opponents to face off against. The new Mat Barzal contract is fair for both sides and hopefully, he enjoys personal success and helps contribute to team success for the Islanders.