Islanders gamers downplaying Mathew Barzal’s absence
The Islanders opened coaching camp Sunday with out their high scorer and finest participant, Mathew Barzal, as he continues negotiating his subsequent contract forward of the 2020-21 season.
And whereas head coach Barry Trotz tried to downplay the 23-year-old star heart’s absence from the workforce’s off-ice testing day by saying it’s a chance for youthful gamers to step up, the remainder of the Islanders are greater than assured Barzal can be signed and on the ice within the coming days.
“They’re going to work this factor out,” captain Anders Lee stated on a Zoom name Sunday. “Barzy, he’s one of many boys. He doesn’t wish to be lacking any extra time than anybody else. It’s all going to get labored out. We haven’t thought twice about it. It’s not one thing we actually fear about, that’s simply the opposite facet of issues that take a while.”
“I’ve all the arrogance that it’s going to come back collectively when it’s alleged to,” Josh Bailey added. “We’re all nonetheless targeted. I’m positive Barzy is able to go and chomping on the bit. He’s an enormous a part of our workforce and we’re wanting ahead to when that day comes, hopefully quickly.”
Throughout his pre-training camp media availability final week, Lou Lamoriello stated he didn’t have something new to report on the continued conversations with Barzal and his camp. However the Islanders basic supervisor confirmed Barzal was in New York and quarantining in accordance with the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Lamoriello said it was his intention, in addition to Barzal’s, to be with the workforce initially of camp. However with on-ice classes set to start Monday morning, that appears much less and fewer attainable.
Based on Trotz, the teaching workers plans to give attention to the gamers who’re on the ice. If something, Trotz believes Barzal’s absence merely offers a youthful participant an opportunity to show himself.
However the third-year Islanders coach admitted that it does have some impression on the group.
“Any participant, it doesn’t matter if it’s Mathew, if it’s anyone who’s on our membership, once they’re out, it does have an effect on the group,” he stated. “So that you ask different gamers to fill in that void and also you get a job finished. To me, it’s alternative. I’ve had a variety of gamers prior to now who had been injured and it allowed different gamers to come back in and actually make the opening into their very own. Their very own type of sport, their very own function and people are the alternatives.
“We speak about that, we all know there’s going to be folks in, folks out, unpredictability, you get a chance, you must go along with it. We’ve been in that state of affairs many occasions, we’ll proceed to fill in these holes if somebody’s not there. We go ahead, that’s how we’re constructed.”
Practically each Isles participant who spoke Sunday acknowledged how huge a component Barzal performs on the workforce. He was a significant presence throughout final season’s playoff push, during which the workforce got here two wins away from advancing to the Stanley Cup finals, chipping in 5 objectives and 12 assists in 22 playoff video games.
And whereas the remainder of the workforce patiently waits for an settlement to be reached, fellow French-Canadian Anthony Beauvillier stated he’s spoken to Barzal almost day-after-day and is satisfied negotiations will wrap up quickly.
“I’m fairly assured it’s going to occur quickly. … Everybody’s assured we’re going to have him on the ice quickly,” Beauvillier stated. “He’s a giant a part of our workforce and we clearly want him to win. I’ve little doubt that it’s going to get finished quickly.”
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