Some guys just have it all, huh?
Mat Barzal is ridiculously good looking. He's ridiculously good at hockey. And now he just signed a sheet of paper that will give him $73.2 million. Really the only thing Mat Barzal doesn't have is that 2nd 'T' in his name.
Now am I crazy here or have I been seeing some people say that this is an overpayment? Because I don't know in what world locking in a player like Barzal for single digit millions is an overpayment. Matthew Tkachuk just signed for 9.5 in tax-free Florida. I'd put Barzal right up there with Tkachuk. Johnny Gaudreau just signed for 9.75 with Columbus. I'd put Barzal right up there with Johnny Hockey. Granted, both of those guys put up 100-points last season. Barzal still hasn't done that in his career, but that's not really how the Islanders operate. And he's still been the Islanders' leading point scorer every season since 2017-18.
He's the best player on a team that was 1-win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final two years in a row. If you can sign a guy like that for under $10M per year, then that's a massive win. Especially when you consider how much the salary cap can jump up over the course of this new 8-year deal that won't even kick in until the 2023-24 season.
The salary cap could be up to $92 million at one point during this contract, and Barzal could still be hovering somewhere around just 30-years-old. So yeah, not only is this a great deal in 2022 but it's only going to get better with age. Say what you want about Lou Lamoriello taking a nap through the entire free agency period this summer, but this is a great deal for the Islanders.
You've got the best player on the roster locked in for 9 years now. The captain is signed through 2026. Now you can just focus this entire season around getting all the right pieces to fall into place without having to worry about Barzal getting the hell off of Long Island in free agency next summer. The only person who should be upset about this deal is Frankie and the gang, who will now have to continue to lose to Barzal on the course for the next 8 years.