Barzal keen to sign extension before season: 'My heart's here'
"There's still (three) weeks before the season, and we can (hopefully) hammer something out," Barzal said at Islanders camp, according to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz. "If not, I'm not really worried about it just because my heart's here, and I know that we'll get something fair and something both sides will be happy about."
Barzal is entering the final season of a three-year, $21-million bridge deal he signed at the conclusion of his entry-level contract. The 25-year-old would become a restricted free agent at season's end.
Barzal said contract talks won't be a distraction or affect his performance.
"When it comes, it comes. I'm not really worried about it," he said. "I won’t go home and pace around thinking about it all day. Just work my hardest and try to prove to them that, obviously, I want them to want me to be here for a while. I think (general manager Lou Lamoriello) does. … I would like to do it."
Barzal is tied with captain Anders Lee as New York's highest-paid player. The Islanders drafted Barzal 16th overall in 2015. He recorded 311 points in 362 career games and won the Calder Trophy in 2018.
The Islanders are looking to bounce back this year after a disappointing 2021-22 campaign. After making two consecutive Eastern Conference Finals, the Isles missed the playoffs last season and decided to move on from highly regarded head coach Barry Trotz.
Barzal registered a career-low 15 goals in 73 games but still finished tied for the Islanders' scoring lead with 59 points.
New York begins its season Oct. 13 against the Florida Panthers.
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