Edmonton Oilers player review and 2023-24 preview: Tyson Barrie

Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
10 months ago
Welcome to the 2022-23 season review and 2023-24 season preview player-by-player! In this, and other articles, we’ll be, well, reviewing the 2022-23 season of Edmonton Oilers players and previewing their 2023-24 season. You can read about the analytics behind my analysis here.
Sail on, Tyson Barrie.
We’re kicking off the player review and preview series by taking a look at a number of players who have moved onto other organizations but spent time with the Oilers last season.
Barrie started the year off the with Oilers like expected quarterbacking the powerplay, and chipping in some offence at 5×5, but something was changing. Evan Bouchard was knocking on the door showing he was ready for more minutes as Barrie’s average ice-time dwindled.
In his first year with the club in 2020-21, he played 17:06 at 5×5 and the following year it fell two minutes to 15:04. Last season? It dipped 19 more seconds and come the trade deadline, he was included in a deal with the Nashville Predators that saw the Oilers bring Mattias Ekholm to town.
Per/60, RelTm%-2.910.25-1.37-1.55-0.96-0.39-0.23-0.341.2-0.02-0.020.04
For the Oilers, Barrie always came as advertised. A guy who would struggle defensively at 5×5, but be able to move the puck up the ice and provide plus value on the powerplay. This last year, however, we saw Barrie’s individual powerplay contributions dip below league average despite still providing points there.
Nonetheless, it was really the emergence of Evan Bouchard that allowed the Oilers to trade Barrie and his $4.5-million back to Nashville in that Ekholm deal. We all know what has happened since as the Oilers powerplay got even better with Bouchard running the point as he went on a scoring tear through the rest of the regular season, and all through the playoffs.
A tough pill to swallow for some in the Oilers market, you can’t sit here today and say the team on the ice has missed him at all. Bouchard’s offensive contributions have already more than made up for Barrie’s departure, and it also allowed for Vincent Desharais to take on a larger role with the team in a bottom-pairing role.
It allowed the Oilers to have a much better mix on the blueline, and one more in line with what they’ve been chasing after for years.
Barrie’s entering the final season of a three-year, $4.5-million deal Ken Holland signed him to on July 28, 2021, and feels redundant on a Nashville Predators blueline that already features the likes of Roman Josi patrolling the top pair. For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Barrie with a new address at some point next season.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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