Since the start of the summer, New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal has shared his willingness to sign with the New York Islanders long-term stating that he wants to be a player that plays his whole career with one organization.
“I would love to be here on the island. This is home. This is where I want to be,” Barzal said when we spoke with him following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. “This is where I want to win, and I love my life here, love the city, the fans. Obviously, our new rink is amazing, and I love wearing the blue and orange so I would love to sign long-term here.”
“I love Long Island, so it’s somewhere I’d want to stay,” Barzal said. “I would like to be there. It obviously is a business, but at the end of the day, I love Long Island. So, if we can make it fair and both sides are happy, then I’d sign it tomorrow.”
On Monday, we spoke with New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello regarding Mathew Barzal as a player and tried to get answers out of him regarding an extension.
Barzal may not have had a strong 2021-22 campaign, but Lou Lamoriello has seen him improve year after year and the expectation has not changed.
“Continue to become the better player that he’s become each and every year. We expect a lot out of him. He expects a lot out of himself,” Lamoriello shared. “And he’s worked very hard during the summer for that. You know, he’s without question one of our leaders, you know, without question, probably our most talented player, and he’s committed without question.”
“He’s ready to prove a lot of things, and I got total confidence, and I’m his biggest fan.”
As for ongoing contract discussions, Lamoriello made it clear that that information will be not be shared.
“Well, first of all, those are discussions that you’ll never get from our players, or myself. It’s just a philosophy we have in the organization,” Lamoriello said. “And because you can’t recognize it, obviously, you know, everybody understands that, but communication is the key word, honestly on anything you do.”
“And, you know, I think we pride ourselves in this organization on that.”
As for if there was a willingness to want to get an extension done prior to the start of the regular season, Lamoriello would not discuss that.
New York Islanders captain Anders Lee weighed in on Mathew Barzal and the extension talks.
“He’s a smart kid and smart guy. He’s grown up quite a bit. And so this, you know, it’s a big year for anyone that’s going through this,” Lee said. “There’s not going to be anything that’s gonna be pulling him away from his focus on the ice.”