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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Not true at all. Sakic not unhappy with Roy. He’s more unhappy with top players https://t.co/s5F7BJd2v8
— Adrian Dater (@adater) March 26, 2016
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 stats.hockeyanalyis.com