NHL Rumors: Mathew Barzal, Mark Scheifele, and Patrik Laine
Today’s NHL Rumors checks in on the futures of three stars whose teams did not qualify for postseason action.
The New York Islanders Mathew Barzal is signed for next season at $7,000,000 but will be an RFA with arbitration rights in the summer of 2022-2023.
So what will the future hold for the Isles best offensive player regarding a new contract?
NHL Rumors: Mathew Barzal’s next contract
Barzal, 24, had a difficult season but that could be said about the entire organization. In 73 games, he posted a solid 59 points which was on par with his .81 points per game average the season prior.
One thing is for certain, the Islanders saw John Tavares slip away to the Toronto Maple Leafs via unrestricted free agency. So they will want to lock up Barzal well into his UFA years that can start at 27.
The good news is he sounds open to it.
“I’ve given thought to it…would love to be here on the Island,” Barzal said. “This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win. I love the city and the fans. Obviously our new rink is amazing. I love wearing the blue and orange. Would love to sign long-term here. I think it’s such a cool thing when a player plays his whole career with one team.”
Mark Scheifele trade bait?
Scheifele, 29, has two years of cost certainty at $6.125M AAV which many teams would jump at this offseason. This year, he registered 70 points in 67 games.
There’s a lot of talk surrounding changes in Winnipeg. The Jets have missed the playoffs and there’s a real possibility that they will retool the lineup with some younger players.
“Obviously I love it here,” Scheifele said via NHL.com. “It’s been the only place I know. I obviously think there’s a lot of big questions to be asked this off-season about where the team’s going and what’s all going to happen, and that’ll happen tomorrow. I’d love to be in Winnipeg, but I also have to see where this is all going and what direction this team is going in, and I guess we’ll see this summer.”
It sounds like if Scheifele doesn’t like what he hears during exit meetings a trade request could be coming. Or maybe that Jets have already made that decision.
Patrik Laine contract
The Columbus Blue Jackets have one job this summer and that is to re-sign RFA Patrik Laine. Not only do they need to get him under contract, they need to also buy up some of those free agent years too.
Laine, 24, had a great bounce back season with 26 goals and 56 points in 56 games.
Priority No. 1 is Laine. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who made $7.5 million against the cap on a one-year deal. This season should be enough proof of concept to earn him a long-term contract as one of the Jackets’ franchise pillars, although that hasn’t materialized yet.ESPN+ (subscription required)
Expect him to get a huge 8 year deal in the neighborhood of $9M AAV.