Matthew Barzal’s eyes widened as he spoke respectfully, as if wishing that such an opportunity existed.
Topic: Patrick Kane to New York Islanders.
“He’s one of the best of all time,” Barzal told The Post. “It would be great to play with the guy – he was second to none. Such a good passer, such a good scorer. He really does everything with the puck. That would be really cool. I do not know [the rumor is] legal or not, but it sure would be cool.
Barzal and Kane share Creative Artists Agency and have an off-ice relationship, skating together several times this summer. The potential fit on the ice is unfortunate — the biggest hole in the Islanders’ lineup is a goal scorer alongside Barzal, and the last time Kane scored fewer than 25 goals in an uncut season was 2011-12.
Barzal is averaging an assist every 60 minutes a year ago and is tied for fifth in the league with 24 before Tuesday’s game. His goals have been lacking, but he has always played to the level expected of a player of his stature. . Add Kane and it immediately becomes one of the most feared combinations in the league.
“Really good. I mean, really good,” Barzal said when asked how the two complement each other. “You put Patrick Kane on anybody, he’s going to complement whoever he’s playing with. would be great at receiving and I would love to give him the puck.
“I think whoever Patrick Kane is playing with is very lucky. It would be very special if it happened.”
From a salary cap standpoint, the Islanders not only need to accommodate Kane, but also make it a priority to fill their roster space. As things currently stand, the Isles are projected to have $10.8 million in cap space at the trade deadline; Kane’s sticker price is $10.5 million per year. And it’s a 23-man lineup necessitated by injuries to Kyle Palmieri and Cal Clutterbuck, the latter of whom skated ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Blues.
As befits general manager Lou Lamoriello, there are no whispers of his merits. It’s unclear whether Kane will waive his no-action clause to play for Long Island, but it’s widely believed he wants to play for a contender — a criteria the Islanders currently meet more than their Broadway neighbors. more suitable.
Given the monetary commitment the Islanders have made to Barzal at $73.2 million over eight seasons, acquiring a scorer to play alongside him is more important. At 34 and in the final year of his contract, Kane won’t be the long-term answer here, but he could go from a team looking to make a splash in the playoffs to a team with real title aspirations.
Connecting the dots is not difficult. It doesn’t hurt that getting Kane could be the ultimate way to unify the Rangers, just a few years after Artemi Panarin snubbed Long Island for Broadway.
“He just thinks about the game on a different level,” Zach Parise, Kane’s 2010 U.S. Olympic teammate and Barzal’s locker room neighbor on the Islanders, told The Post. “He seems to do a really good job of getting people where he wants to go and playing his game. It’s very similar [Barzal] Where he has that ability is to have four guys on the ice looking at you, and then two of your teammates are open.
“Special, special player. And you know what’s crazy, the bigger the game, the better. “You can’t say that about a lot of people, but the bigger the game, the better he plays at that time.”
Kane won three trophies with the Blackhawks. Isn’t it special for him to get the No. 4 ring as the Islanders’ No. 5 banner?