ARTICLE
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HOCKEY

LAMORIELLO DECLARES HIS INTENT TO MATCH ANY OFFER SHEET ON BARZAL

MIKE ARMENTI
MARCH 22, 2020  ·  12H53
Offer sheets are typically not utilized often, despite heavy rumours to the contrary, seemingly every summer. Last season, Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Montreal Canadiens, which was ultimately matched by the Canes, as was the expectation. This off-season, the target of choice seems to be New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal.

QZ

The Barzal situation is quite unique, as the team has several areas to address, including at the backup position, some forward depth and on some expiring contracts for key RFA's on the back end, with both Devon Toews and Ryan Pulock requiring new deals. Given the king's ransom Barzal is sure to command, this could make things tricky for the Isles.

One would have to assume that Barzal will be using the Mitch Marner contract as a bench mark or a starting point and if that is the case, or if he commands slightly more, things may get much more complicated in short order.

Following the departure of John Tavares, just a pair of summers ago, there was a revolt from Isles fans. Some angry that management allowed John to just walk for nothing, but most directed their anger towards Tavares himself, labeling him a snake for electing to return home to Toronto. The potential loss of Barzal, although the situations differ, would be Earth-shattering for the Islanders.

As such, Lamoriello and company will do anything and everything it takes to prevent that from happening. He confirmed as much when he recently commented on the impending Barzal offer sheet debacle, revealing his intention of matching any potential offer sheet on his star forward.

“It is our intention to not allow it to get to that point, but should that happen, the answer is yes.”



After back-to-back ELC slides in his first two seasons, Barzal has earned $863,333 over the last three seasons to close out his entry-level deal. He registered a career-high 85 points in his rookie year in 2017-18. Despite experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump after the loss of John Tavares forced him into a more integral role against tougher competition, Barzal has rebounded in 2019-20, recording 60 points in 68 games, before the season was paused amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be an interesting off season for the Isles, whenever it may occur.

QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
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Which Canadian province never changes time?
BRITISH COLUMBIA
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
SASKATCHEWAN
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON