Mat Barzal Stays on the Island!

Gabrielle Lopez, Staff Writer

These past couple weeks for Islanders fans have been to say the least a waiting game. Star player of the Islanders Mat Barzal had the opportunity to either re-sign and stay with the Islanders, or end up with another team within the NHL. The past 2019-2020 season, Barzal was considered the best player on the team, racking up 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) during the regular season games. This was followed by 17 more points during the 22 games played during the playoffs (5 goals, 12 assists), where the Islanders made it all the way up to the Eastern Conference Finals! 

The deal formed regarding Barzal staying with the Islanders  has brought the Islanders’ team salary to $84.5 million, which goes over the league’s $81.5 spending limit by $3.0 million. But, this problem was solved when former defenseman Johnny Boychuck went into early retirement due to an eye injury which occured in early March. As sad as it was to see Boychuck leave after seven seasons, it was amazing to have $3.0 million to work with due to Boychuck no longer needing a $6.0 million salary cap.

To find out the fans’ opinion on Mat Barzal’s choice to stay on the Island, I asked my grandfather, Sal Coscino, who is an Islanders season ticket holder of 44 years his opinion on Mat Barzal not leaving the Islanders.

Q: What are your thoughts on Mat Barzal staying with the Islanders? 

A: “I feel very good about it, without him this whole coming season would have been a disaster for the franchise.”

Q: Is Barzal a necessary asset for the Islanders?

A: “Yes, 100%. He is the most important player because he is one of the youngest and he has to develop. He’s a star and can help the team out a lot.”

Q: Do you think that the Islanders would do just as well without him on the team?

A: “Without him, no, not at all. He is the franchise player, that’s how you describe it in not only hockey but any sport. They need him in order to be successful.”

As an Islanders fan, I think I can speak on behalf of all Islanders fans and say that we are extremely grateful for Mat Barzal and him deciding to stay on the team!