Mathew Barzal has noticed all the young restricted free agents causing havoc around the league by holding out this deep in the summer, and while he knows he’ll be in the same situation a year from now isn’t focused on it. In Arthur Staples’ latest piece for The Athletic, Barzal explains that he wants to be part of the New York Islanders for a long time and just wants to take the next step as a team:
My mindset is I’m here. I’ve got one year left and then I’m an RFA, I’m not a UFA. There isn’t much to worry about. All those RFAs now are young, like me, so I get the comparison. But I just want us to win.
Barzal, 22, took a step backwards offensively last season in the more structured system new head coach Barry Trotz installed, but was still a huge reason why the Islanders came second in the Metropolitan Division (just a point behind the Washington Capitals) and wound up sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. The 16th overall pick from 2015 has 147 points in 166 games during his short tenure in the NHL and is due for a huge raise on his next deal.
- The Edmonton Oilers will bring in some more center depth with the signing of Riley Sheahan to a one-year deal, but may not have one of their other veteran options. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports that the team isn’t expecting Kyle Brodziak to pass his physical after not being able to train all offseason due to injury. Brodziak has one year remaining on his contract and carries a $1.15MM cap hit, which could be placed on long-term injured reserve if he’s not able to return to action. The veteran forward was brought in after a surprisingly excellent 2017-18 with the St. Louis Blues, but only registered nine points in 70 games for the Oilers last season.
- Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan of ESPN are reporting that the NHL has cut ties with Jogmo World Corp, their primary technology partner when it comes to puck and player tracking. Commissioner Gary Bettman listed “organizational and financial challenges” as the reason for the switch, but still expects the technology to be ready for the 2019-20 playoffs.