New York Islanders: Mathew Barzal could be lost to an offer sheet

Lou Lamoriello has made it clear, he will match any offer sheet sent Mat Barzal’s way. Now when Lou speaks, other teams tend to take him at his word. However this could be a case where there may be no bite to the bark.

The Islanders current cap situation

The Islanders have only $8 million in cap space and need to sign Mathew Barzal. They also need to sign two other RFA’s by the name of Devon Toews and Ryan Pulock. For argument’s sake, let’s say they can get those two just on qualifying offers, that leaves just $6 million for Barzal.

To put it plainly, that is not enough.

Barzal is prime for an offer sheet

Here’s the dilemma, there’s no debating how good Barzal is. He’s not a risk, he’s a known excellent commodity. The now 23 year-old had 85 points in his rookie season in 2017-18, but took a little dip to 62 points in his sophomore campaign. This season, he was right back on track with 60 points in 68 games. Furthermore, he was a beast in the playoffs with 17 points in 22 games.

Does any Islanders fan feel a sense of discomfort yet?

Here’s why Lou may regret his bold claim. If a team comes in with an offer sheet between $8.45 and $10.5 million, the Islanders would be hard pressed to match. Matter of fact, if they did, they’d have to find a way to clear serious cap space. Good Luck.

Mathew Barzal offer sheet
Anthony Beauvillier congratulated by Mathew Barzal and Ryan Pulock (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

The compensation would not prevent a team from trying

Any team that would come after Barzal will likely do so in the range I just mentioned. The compensation if the Islanders don’t match is just two 1st rounds picks, one 2nd, and one 3rd. Any GM would make that trade for Barzal every day.

Of course, a team going over $10.5 million would have to fork over four 1st rounders. Now, if this was pre-Covid I would look at a team to go that high. That leads me to what works in the Isles favor. Due to the loss of revenue, only a handful of teams may be able to make such an offer.

Still, if I’m a fan, I’m not resting easy until he signs his next Islanders deal…or will he?

P.S. Elliotte Friedman and other big insiders think Barzal is getting an offer sheet.