It’s still October but it appears that teams are looking to lock down their prized RFAs early to avoid any long negotiations.
“I do believe the New York Islanders have some interest in looking to extend Mathew Barzal before next summer,” said Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
Johnston noted that it could be a “very interesting” negotiation because Barzal has more points through his first two seasons than Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner, who inked a six-year deal with an average annual value of approximately $10.8 million in September.
Barzal had 40 goals and 107 assists in the previous two seasons with the Islanders compared to Marner’s 130 points (41 goals, 89 assists) in his first two campaigns with the Maple Leafs. Whether that leads to a bigger payday than Marner remains to be seen.
The Islanders centre is off to a strong start this year, recording three goals and three assists in seven games.