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Barzal offer sheet would be matched by Islanders, GM says

Center can become restricted free agent after season, leads New York in scoring @NHLdotcom

Mathew Barzal would have an offer sheet matched by the New York Islanders, general manager Lou Lamoriello said in remarks published on the Islanders website Saturday.

Taking questions from fans submitted this week on Twitter, Lamoriello was asked whether the Islanders would match if the 22-year-old, who can become a restricted free agent after this season, were to sign an offer sheet.

"It is our intention to not allow it to get to that point, but should that happen, the answer is yes," Lamoriello said.

With 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) in 68 games, Barzal was leading the Islanders in scoring for a third straight season when the 2019-20 NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. 

Video: Luftman and Weekes on Barzal's potential offer sheet

Lamoriello said Feb. 24 that he expected the Islanders to sign Barzal and their other restricted free agents, defensemen Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews

Barzal said at the Honda 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend in January that he didn't have time to worry about his contract.

"We want to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs, take a run at the Stanley Cup, and after that we'll figure [the contract] out," Barzal said. 

New York (35-23-10) is one point behind the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets for a wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Barzal, in his fourth NHL season, has 207 points (59 goals, 148 assists) in 234 games, all with the Islanders. New York selected him in the first round (No. 16) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

This offseason, Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho was given a five-year, $42.27 million offer sheet by the Montreal Canadiens (average annual value of $8.454 million), which Carolina matched.

The last offer sheet prior to that to be given to an NHL player was to Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly, by the Calgary Flames, on Feb. 28, 2013. Colorado matched it and kept O'Reilly.

The last offer sheet to lead to a player changing teams was one given to Anaheim Ducks forward Dustin Penner, who signed with the Edmonton Oilers on July 26, 2007. Anaheim received three picks in the 2008 NHL Draft as compensation.

There have been nine offer sheets given since 1998.

This offseason, compensation to the team losing a player to an offer sheet escalated from no compensation for a contract worth $1.4 million or less per season, to four first-round draft picks for a contract worth more than $10.5 million per season.

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