In an NHL news and rumors update, there is news on the New York Islanders working on an extension already for star forward Matthew Barzal. Plus, how serious is Corey Schneider’s injury? Plus, is Elliotte Friedman right in that the Winnipeg Jets will have to convince Dustin Byfuglien to come back and play hockey? Finally, did the Columbus Blue Jackets just send an interesting message to some former players?
Islanders Trying to Lock Up Barzal Early
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that the New York Islanders are already holding preliminary discussions with Matthew Barzal’s agent J.P. Barry about a contract extension.
This continues with the theory LeBrun mentioned a couple of days ago that teams are going to look at locking up their restricted free agents well before the offseason and in Barzal’s case, those discussions should kick into full gear soon.
What Barzal gets is unclear, but he could command north of $10 million per season considering he’s the teams top-line center, has 147 points over 166 games in his first two NHL seasons and comparables seem to work in his favor. Whatever he gets paid, the Islanders will be right near the top of the salary cap limit which could mean additional moves to clear some space.
Schneider Not Out Long-Term
New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider left Friday’s game with what was believed to be an injury, but the team has said it’s more cramping than anything else. He traveled with the team and will be available against the Buffalo Sabres for tonight’s game.
Byfuglien Leaning Towards Retirement, Jets Have To Convince Him Otherwise
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting that he’s heard the Winnipeg Jets may have to convince Dustin Byfuglien not to retire. He says, “I still think they are going to wait until he makes his decision. I hate to be negative, but the word is that they have to talk him out of retiring.”
This is not a good sign for the Jets who could really use him on their blue line. There’s still not been a clear message from Byfuglien as to why he’s sitting it out and what’s keeping him from joining the team.
Blue Jackets Take Dig at Former Players
The Columbus Blue Jackets are getting a mixed response over the past 24 hours to their decision to take aim at players like Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene with their arena scoreboard and slogan for the season.
At the start of the season opener celebrations, the word LOYALTY was put on the scoreboard as a new slogan. Obviously, that was meant as a shot to the players who left and a thank you to the players who stayed.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to have their hands full this season trying to be competitive after losing almost all of the players they went out and acquired in trade in an attempt to make a playoff run. Their offense has taken a major hit and they’ll have to work as a team to make up the ground they are bound to lose.
Point Almost Ready to Return?
Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point appears to be close to returning to the lineup. Reports from the team are that Point could be ready to go for the Canadian portion of their upcoming road trip.