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Islanders News: Barzal bantering; World Junior preview; Sutter Home

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Hockey news and notes for Islanders fans.

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six
Soon... we hope.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

By the time you read this, Mathew Barzal may be signed to a brand new contract extension. We hope.

With the key dates set for the 56-game 2021 season, teams can start making concrete plans for their rosters. Players will need to start getting to their team cities soon to begin quarantine and COVID testing, so it makes sense to assume Barzal would be among them.

At The Athletic, Arthur Staple says a holdout is unlikely and a bridge deal is the most likely scenario for the Islanders’ most talented center, with “a cap hit between $6-7 million.” (read the whole article for more questions facing the Islanders going into this season). Staple’s colleague Pierre Lebrun reports that the communication between Barzal and Lou Lamoriello has been constant throughout the prolonged offseason and quotes Barzal’s camp with an update on how things are looking:

“Now that we know all the rules and dates, we agreed to resume discussions this week together,” Barzal’s agent J.P. Barry said Sunday. “We’ve been in regular contact for several months.”

So that’s the latest.

More Islanders Stuff

  • Another interesting article from Staple pertains to those taxi squads you’re going to be hearing a lot about. This seems like it might be beneficial for the Islanders.

To set the best possible “new” cap for the Isles, you need Hickey, Ladd and Komarov on the roster when Boychuk is placed on LTIR. That way, going forward, the Isles can make recalls and demotions as well as possible trades, as long as they don’t go above that $81.14-million ceiling.

Long story short: This looks like trouble, but it really won’t be — not after the season begins and all three of those scratched vets get waived and end up on the taxi squad most likely.

  • Previewing the World Junior Championship (which start on Christmas Day!) with a focus on Islanders prospects Simon Holmstrom and Matias Rajaniemi. [Islanders]
  • Jon Ledecky handed out jerseys to frontline health workers in recognition for all they’ve done for Long Island. That’s very cool. [Newsday article | Newsday Video]
  • Also cool: The Sutter Brothers, as told by The Maven.

Other Stuff

  • More on the return to play: There’s still a lot of stuff to figure out about getting everyone back on the ice. First and foremost are the health regulations across Canada that could prevent teams from playing. [TSN.ca] | And here’s a handy FAQ from Sportsnet about a bunch of topics.
  • Bad news for Edmonton: defenseman Oskar Klefbom will miss the entire season with an injury. [Sportsnet]
  • Blues forward Alex Steen has decided to end his career, which leaves St. Louis with some extra cap space. [St. Louis Today]
  • Anthony Duclair has found a new home with the Panthers. [LBC]

Bryan Trottier and Aaron Asham talk about their indigenous backgrounds and how they help give back to that community through hockey. This is also very cool.