Banking On Barrie

Early on Saturday the Colorado Avalanche lost to the Wild
4-0, crippling their chances to make the playoffs. Hopefully, though, what it
did do was increase the odds of them doing something entirely unadvisable.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Edmonton’s General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, has to have his
eyes on every player in the NHL who fits the description of the player he needs
to help drag this team out from the bottom of the heap. We all know what the
Oilers need more than anything else right now: quality right handed defensemen.
As it so happens, the Avalanche happen to have one who is about to become a
restricted free agent.

Tyson Barrie is a very effective offensive defenseman and
has been for several years. The 24 year old from Victoria stands just 5’10” and
190 pounds, but he can move the disc around the offensive zone. In the new
world of the NHL, defensemen who can skate well, have good instincts, and can
shoot from the point don’t have to be hulking giants to succeed.

He might not be the punishing player type that Chiarelli has
been adding, but he can play a feature role on the PP and help the play keep
moving up ice 5v5 as well. If the Oilers are looking to add two RHD this
summer, one of the players that he has to inquire about is Barrie.

Over the last 3 years since Barrie has become an NHL
regular, he is 5th in 5v5 Points per 60 minutes at 1.16 P/60. He is
only behind Burns, Karlsson, Hedman, and Giordano over that time. He keeps
elite company when it comes to offense from the blueline. Even strength
contributions to offense are always welcome.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

On the Power Play Barrie is also good, but he’s no Kevin
Shattenkirk. His Points per 60 minutes is 28th ranked at 3.96 P/60.
He’s tied with Jack Johnson and Oliver Ekman-Larson for offensive output per
minute over these past three seasons.

What it comes down to is that Barrie is reaching the prime
years of his career and is one of the NHL’s best offensive defenders. He’s
young, mobile, and productive. Edmonton’s defense has youth, it has some
mobility, but the production is sorely lacking. With the contributions of every
defenseman who has suited up for the Oilers this year combined, the Oilers have
had just 23 goals and a 99 points from their blueline.

The raw possession numbers for Barrie are less than
impressive, but we have to remember that the Avalanche are the 29th
ranked possession team over the last three seasons. They are wretched by the
Corsis and have been for a long time. So even a player with good impact on that
team is still going to have low numbers.

Barrie’s Corsi For percentage over the last three seasons is
a lowly 46.4%, but his Corsi For Relative to his Teammates is 2.0%. That’s
comparable to Aaron Ekblad and Seth Jones. Indeed his Rel numbers are all positive
and hover around that 2% number except for his Goals For percentage. In Goals
For Barrie does significantly better than his Avalanche peers to the tune of
5.2% GF%RelTM.

It seems as though the plan is to negotiate his new deal in the summer, but that is going to potentially open him up to RFA offer sheets.
Barrie is only making 2.6 million per season on his current deal, so he’s
likely going to double that amount on a long term deal. The Avalanche have some
Cap space to deal with, but they also need to re-sign MacKinnon, Grigorenko, and
Boedker in addition to Barrie. Surely they could re-sign their young defender,
but it’s going to cost them.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Like most quality young defensemen, it’s hard to imagine
teams letting them go. That said, GMs can do funny things when the pressure is
on them to make tough decisions. Last year the Bruins crumbled under the weight
of a potential RFA offer to Hamilton. If they had simply accepted an Oiler RFA
offer sheet they would have Edmonton’s 1st in this year’s draft and
be staring down top 5 pick. Instead they traded Hamilton to the Flames for
lesser picks before the Oilers even had a chance to make an offer.

The Avalanche are under constant scrutiny over the way they
play the game and their lack of possession. The frustration over the way the
season is ending seems to be directed at the star players right now because Roy
is made of Teflon in Colorado. Traditional stats like +/- rate Barrie poorly.
In fact, his -16 is the worst on the Avalanche defense. There just might be
enough distraction to allow for this player to shake loose.

At least I hope that’s the case, because the Oilers could certainly use someone with Barrie’s skills.

All stats via

  • DoubleDIon

    Please offer sheet Barrie Oilers. It’ll be funny when you lose your next four 1st rounders for a better version of Schultz. You guys need a tough minutes defender more than a PP QB.

    • bradleypi

      Lol. Cheers all day to this. I feel like I’m in bizarro world after reading this article. Henderson HATED schultz because he was “1 dimensional” and wasn’t physical. Now it’s a great idea to OFFER SHEET the exact same type of player????? Wow just wow.

    • jdh1089

      Our abysmal PP and where we rank in the league for offence would say we have a need for both actually. Also there is a zero chance Oilers would offer him more than 8/9M so wouldn’t loose 4 first rounders. More in the line of a first second and third pick going.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      this new Oilers aren’t as dumb as the former one was….they aren’t going to offer sheet anyone and give up what could potentially be 4 top picks in the next 4 drafts the way this team plays!

      and a PP QB is *exactly* what this team has needed in like forever.

    • They certainly do need a tough minutes defender, BUT not as much as they need a PP QB offensive guy. The Oilers are dead last in offense from the blue line, and actually fairly respectable in some of the defensive categories. SO they need Both types an offensive guy 1st and then a tough minutes guy such as Hamonic

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      this might not be a popular thing to say but with the Oilers likely needing 2 RD, Reinhart, Oesterle and even Clendening are likely just trade bait right now. players like Hamonic, Demers, Barrie, Vatanen, etc. are huge upgrades over these 3 and this is what this team badly needs, not more inexperienced guys from the AHL.

      • IronX

        Oh, it’s very popular and well said.

        Oiler fans tend to fall in love with “struggle stories” about the minor leaguer who discovers his talents and fights adversity to make it to the show, where he won’t ever win a single thing, mind you, but the hearts of fans and bloggers who will say “the addition of (insert name) has been fantastic….” And hence become “untradeables ” in the eyes of many.

        How many of those stories have we seen and we are still seeing? Oesterle, Davidson and even Marincin are the latest editions. None of you saw how Lucic played Oesterle last night? You can like him all you want, he is an AHLer, period.

  • Oilerchild77

    Great, another defender who can’t defend. Haven’t they tried this before?

    Why do they keep running on this same wheel of failure? Hmmm…let me think…I got it! It’s because they keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

    This team needs a right side defender who can defend first and produce points as a bonus, not the other way around.

    • Schultz wasn’t a failure because he was an offensive defenseman. He was a failure because he’s an offensive defenseman with no offense.

      Edmonton doesn’t need 1 RHD. They need 2.

      This article isn’t saying take Barrie over Hamonic. It’s saying after you get Hamonic, the next add could be Barrie.

      He’s an elite offensive defenseman. I’m shocked at how many people are already balking at this player from the Oilers side. It’s Avs fans who should be saying “No way!”

      • bradleypi

        I think you meant to say schultz had no offence THIS YEAR. Pretty sure he led the oilers d in scoring last year. I’d wager the year before also but I’m too lazy too look and don’t care. He was fine offensively until the back injury to start this season. Don’t cloud the facts with your hatred of him.

      • Oilerchild77

        So what? Don’t want him. As of now, he’s got 47 points, impressive… Until you see his -17. YIKES! How does a dman who has 47 points have a -17? I’ll tell you how, because he doesn’t defend well enough! Why would we want a defenceman that can’t defend? Especially after the last four years of waiting for Jultz to figure it out. The evidence is right there. He’s a liability and we’ve had too much of that here.

        • Namudi

          Ya but how many of those points are on the pp?

          You know they don’t count to +/-

          -17 isn’t that bad letang has more points but has a worse +/- but I wouldn’t mind him on my team

      • Admiralmark

        Yes the Oilers need 2 RHD to add. It could be Shattenkirk/Demers or Hamonic/Barrie or Burns/Demers… the need for an offensive minded RHD is highest if the add is Hamonic. There are other solutions when we talk trade scenarios. Barrie? YES please! But if Chiarelli doesn’t bring in 2x RHD’s I will consider the off season a disappointment.

  • McWeber

    He always looks tremendous against the Oilers, offer sheet this guy in the summer for the maximum that wont make us forfeit 4 1st rounders. Don’t warn them that your going to OS their guy before you do it this time Chia. Has Ned Stark’s death taught you nothing?

  • fasteddy

    The grass is always greener for some pundits. They never have an answer for why all these incredible defensemen also play on non-playoff teams, or teams that haven’t won a cup. Of course some do, and have, but the idea that a couple of slightly above average RHD will turn the franchise around is silly. Especially if you’re draining your top 6 F’s to do it.

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      Not sure why this got trashed? It’s the truth.

      The Oilers need a top pairing RH Dman that can play 28 min a night who can break the cycle, play against top teams best players, PK and PP who can throw a hit every now and then.

      Is that to much to ask for?

      Happy Easter all.

  • jdh1089

    Can we not compare Barrie to Schultz. He’s actually good offensively, and he doesnt back down, like he went after Maroon after he hit him. Barrie is in a different world compared to Schultz

  • Oilerz4life

    ON article title…Offensively Minded 5’11’ 190pnd _________(insert name) Player May Come Available. Next. ON loves it’s soft skill trade rumors, especially Willis. No more Jultz, more Brian Marchment please and thank you very much.

  • IronX

    Ok… I have been counting give aways on the 3 last games during the Power Play from Oiler FORWARDS (not defense men), and no, it’s not a drinking game:

    Eberle: 7

    Hall: 5

    Yak : 2

    McDavid: 2

    Combined others: 4

    Those are a lot of giveaways, makes me wonder: is it the lack of a pp quarterback or is it just that the forwards can’t hold on to the puck???

  • Great White

    Tyson Barrie is the Ying to the Yang of Erik Johnson. The Avs will want him to sign long term at 4 million like all the young defensmen these days(Klefbom, Larsson, Brodin, Fowler, Despres, Josi etc.) but he’ll get 6 million because they’re bent over a barrel without him.

  • 2Oilers4

    Barrie would be a great pick up. With additions of Hamonic and 1 hulking D, the back would actually look pretty good.


    Keep Nurse and Reinhart in the AHL for another year, and have them as call ups.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Pass on the math based player projections. We all scene what happened to Mark Faynes uber numbers when he came here. A whole lotta false hope/fools gold.

    Give me OEL (in exchange for the first overall selection), Pietrangelo ( names withheld till player notification)) and Hamonic (Klefbom and a 3rd)please. These guys will be much more effective as a group.

  • Cubro

    No sure why everyone is instantly thinking 4 first rounders, thats only if we give him more than 9M per. The 5.5-7M range means we sacrifice a first, second and third rounder. Cant see ANYONE giving him more than 7M per, which by the way is 2 firsts a second and third.

  • Risto's Canon

    He might be interesting after we get the shutdown RH D(s) we desperately need but not until then. Anything we gave up for Barrie would be that much less we’d have to offer for a “defensive” defenseman.

  • Jay (not J)

    Funny how ‘once bitten, twice shy’ we are on the not hulking skilled dman. There aren’t a lot of Chris Prongers out there so it is going to take more than one addition to shore up this group. If PC is looking at Barrie hopefully he can find a trade that works and then sign him vs an offer sheet. I also don’t mind keeping Fayne around next season as well as Gryba to round out the bottom pair/ 7th man. Send the kids back to school and let them force their way back up as the season progresses. Who knows though, the scope of the changes PC has in mind could be a lot greater than this and if he has multiple forwards in play, he may have more than half of his defence turning over as part of the moves.

  • Oilerz4life

    Watch the Oilers will finally put together a respectable defense and lose one of the top 4 in the expansion draft, costing us dearly, but costing Vegas nothing, where the expansion team has a better defensive core than we do and didn’t have to do anything to get it. Can see it happening simply because that would be the Oilers luck.

  • Marcellus Wallace

    Would it not make more sense to go after someone like Trouba for a 2nd line RHD? Jets will likely not be able to protect him in an expansion draft, better +/- on a worse team, playing behind Buff and Myers on the right side… Production is lower but younger, bigger, more hits and more likely to be available if expansion is announced.

    edit, just saw 30 after I posted, agree on all fronts

      • Marcellus Wallace

        And then they lose Hamonic in an expansion draft. Same problem, different name and a more attractive contract for Vegas. Winnipeg pretty much has their three defense slots filled for protection, anything attractive they add will be taken.

  • The Whispererer

    I believe the rules on offer sheets state that the picks you lose must be your own. Since our 2017 2nd rounder is pledged to Boston (surely we won’t be giving them our 2nd this year) we won’t be making any offer sheets in that range this summer.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    RFA offer sheets seem to create bad relations among General Managers. Plus you have to overpay and you lose a ton of draft picks.

    I wouldn’t make that move.

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      Offer sheets are part of the process and if you’re Chairelli or any GM for that matter you shouldn’t give two sh-ts what another GM thinks.

      As far as draft picks, the Oilers don’t need anymore draft picks they need real NHL players.