Isles GM: Barzal offer sheet would be matched

New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello recently discussed the long-term future of Mathew Barzal and the immediate status of defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

Lamoriello was asked if he would match an offer sheet should one be presented to the 22-year-old Barzal, who will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.

“It is our intention to not allow it to get to that point, but should that happen, the answer is yes,” the GM said in remarks published Saturday on the Islanders’ team website.

Barzal recorded team-leading totals in assists (41) and points (60) in 68 games for the Islanders prior to the season being put on pause March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

A former Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) recipient, Barzal has collected 207 points (59 goals, 148 assists) in 234 career games since New York selected him with the 16th overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.

As for Boychuk, Lamoriello said he expects the veteran defenseman to be ready to play when the NHL is set to do the same.

Boychuk required 90 stitches to repair a cut around his eyelid after being hit in the face by the skate of Canadiens left winger Artturi Lehkonen in Montreal’s 6-2 win on March 3.

The 36-year-old veteran has two goals and nine assists in 64 games this season.

Boychuk has spent the past six years with the Islanders after playing the previous six with the Boston Bruins. He has 54 goals and 152 assists in 725 career games with the Colorado Avalanche, Bruins and Islanders.