“Oilers have been the clear winner in free agency so far”: Twitter reacts to Tyson Barrie signing with Edmonton Oilers


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Twittter exploded with Edmonton making its biggest hockey deal of the year, signing Tyson Barrie to a one-year value contract, which brought on praise from many, but some scorn from a few, including in the analytics community.

TSN’s Darren Dreger @DarrenDreger
Barrie takes less to sign with the Oilers. 1 year, $3.75 mil. Had at least two other larger offers.

Bob Stauffer @Bob_Stauffer
According to both Darren Dreger and Frank Seravalli, Barrie took significantly less to come to EDM.
Four times he has had 49+ points and five times 12+ goals.
A great bet on a short-team deal.

Oilers fan Hernan Salas @HernanDaMan
This is a city where we still get texts to trade Draiasaitl… so we’ll be fine on Barrie 😂

Oilers fan McOilers @McOilers
Tyson Barrie signed in Edmonton for less than $4M and I like this dream a lot. Don’t wake me, I’m liking where this is going.

Analytics writer Micah Blake McCurdy @IneffectiveMath
Tyson Barrie (1x~4m with Edmonton) is a weak defensive defender without many other substantial redeeming qualities…Barrie is all over the map in terms of quality over the years; some years are much better than others for reasons that aren’t easily explained by his context.


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Oil Knight blogger ☘️🏒 Sean Patrick Ryan 🏒☘️ @TheOilKnight
Still kinda feels like they’re one good piece away from solidifying this group. Love the contract and term for Barrie though. Bridge to Bouch.

?????? – Bear
Nurse – Barrie
Jones – Larsson

Related: Oilers land big fish free agent Barrie, by Kurt Leavins

Hockey fan calla @callabang_
Tyson Barrie signs with the Oilers and my love for him, which has lain dormant while he was being misused on the Leafs, creaks one gigantic eye open.

Leafs fan Kevin Papetti @KPapetti
The Oilers were horrendous defensively last season, and they’ve now added Kyle Turris and Tyson Barrie. Klefbom is likely to miss significant time due to injury. I’m not sure which goalie they will acquire, but I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

Athletic hockey writer Jonathan Willis @JonathanWillis
In the Oilers shoes I’d be comfortable elevating Bouchard to the NHL, but getting someone like Barrie for one year at reasonable dollars is a no-brainer, especially given the patchwork state of the defence. Besides, there will be injuries.
Obviously it’s a calculated risk for Barrie, but he’ll get the keys to PP1 and he should certainly post good numbers there. One good year and he’ll be well-positioned to sign a longer deal next year.

Hockey fan Peter F @Peterf_94
Tyson Barrie has had 3 seasons at 50+ points. (Plus 1 season of 49). The last time an Oiler dman scored 50 points was Sheldon Souray in 2009 (!).


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TSN’s Ryan Rishaug @TSNRyanRishaug
Barrie signing would buy the Oilers time to be patient with Evan Bouchard. He may or may not be ready for prime time, and Barrie will give them another year to make sure he develops into it properly.

Analytics writer Corey Sznajder @ShutdownLine
If the Oilers want to go all-in on winning games by going 3/4 on the power play then I’m not going to stop them.

Hockey fan The Yukon Scott @YukonScott
When’s the last time Oilers twitter was universally happy with the haul of free agent signings?

Hockey fan angy @uheeuhaha
TBarrie to the Oilers is good because the juxtaposition of his Celine Dion singing self with Connor’s if I was a spice I’d be flour McDavid will overwhelm the balance of the universe and finally shatter us all into dust

Hockey fan Shaun @Wingnut9793
He’s redirecting his career in the hopes he scores a big contract next year. What better place then the Oilers to do that. They need a RS PP QB, they need guys who can make a tape to tape pass on the fly. Barrie does those things, He’ll get 55 – 60 points here.

Oilers fan Yamamoto97 @Yamamoto97
Tyson Barrie “struggled” last season with Toronto and still managed to put up 39 points (5 Goals 34 assists). That’s more points than any Oilers defenceman last season.

Hockey fan ryan 🛸 @OTCeIIy
Barrie was a beast before he got to Toronto last year. He didn’t fit in with that system…don’t judge him off of 1 iffy season. That’s a huge signing for Edmonton. They finally have a top 4 D-man that can contribute offensively.


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Barrie is all over the map in terms of quality over the years; some years are much better than others for reasons that aren’t easily explained by his context.

Oilers fan Jason Adams @AdamsOnHockey
Again, Barrie is *not* a powerplay specialist. His last two seasons he has 34 and 27 even strength points, tied for 10th with Ekblad, Hedman, and Jeff Petry. He produces points at a high level all. Of. The. Time. Not just on the powerplay.

Athletics hockey writer Scott Wheeler @scottcwheeler
Barrie’s a good fit for the Oilers but I’m not sure the “he’s going to put up 100 points on the PP” narrative works. He had a huge chance with Tavares, Marner, Matthews and Nylander and he didn’t fit. If he takes the same shot volume approach, he’ll make that PP worse not better.

Athletics hockey writer dom luszczyszyn @domluszczyszyn
the PP under keefe with those guys and barrie was pretty damn good up until the playoffs

Former NHL scout and prospects expert Grant McCagg @grantmccagg
The Oilers have been the clear winner in free agency so far for me. Picked up three very good fits at a bargain price, and for the short term. Smart work by Holland. Third line needed upgrading, and Barrie can run the PP this year. No rush on Bouchard either.

Oilers fan Karman Gill @Kgill39
Oilers sign Puljujarvi, Turris, Barrie and Ennis combined for less than 8 million. Holland is terrible as a GM right Oiler fans? #Oilers #NHLFreeAgency

Oilers fan Nathan 🇨🇦 @NBordzy
The Edmomton Oilers signed Tyson Barrie signed to a cheaper contract than what TJ Brodie, Justin Schultz and Chris Tanev all received. The best part is, Tyson Barrie is better than all of them. #LetsGoOilers #HockeyTwitter


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Hockey fan Todd Kirkpatrick @TKirkpatrickYLL
Barrie is a huge add for the Oilers. That gives ~35 minutes a night with either Barrie or Bear driving offense 5×5.

Nurse and Bear
Jones and Barrie

Oilers fan allhustlenohands @stevezieskidoo
I’ve been pretty adamant the Barrie isnt the ideal fit here, but there are three things you have to love about this deal:
1) He chose us
2) It’s a great price
3) Surely we’re about to trade Kris Russell

Oilers fan Sid @sid_hockeyfan
I will cry if we have a Nurse – Barrie pairing. That pairing will score 50 goals and allow 200.

WheatNOil @WheatNOil
That’s a good deal for both Barrie and the Oilers. Oilers get a guy for 1 year for less than Klefbom’s LTIR. Possibility to extend. Barrie gets a chance to bounce back and cash in passing to McDavid and Drai.

Leafs fan Kyle Gardiner @kylegardiner09
The fact someone offered Barrie was offered more money over term is baffling. Leaf hat or not that man is a liability everywhere. He is a smaller jake Gardiner who thinks a little better.

TSN’s Matthew Iwanyk @matthewiwanyk
Oilers get Turris, Barrie, Ennis and Puljujarvi all for under $8 million

Brian @kab1824
Barrie is a dual threat, he gives both teams opportunities to score

Hockey fan Joseph Zita @josephdzita
Rielly isn’t the greatest in his own zone either but okay, he’s better than Barrie but he’s still a liability some nights. Carlson is a 2-way not strictly offensive & Letang isn’t good in his own zone either but he’s good at offence so idk what you’re saying.


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Oilers fan Bad-luca @NazNeeds_a_hug
Wow he gave up more than $3 mil??? I’m an Oilers fan and that doesn’t even make sense

TSN’s Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli
Tyson Barrie turned down more money elsewhere to join the #Oilers, including a $6 million offer.

Cam Lewis @cooom
Tyson Barrie is going to put up 93 points with the Oilers, 75 of which come on the power play, he’s going to have a minus-5 rating and he’s going to win the Hart Trophy and everyone is going to have a meltdown

Malts @KMalts11
Holland is having a very successful free agency.
-brings back Puljujärvi
-Turris, Ennis
-PP shooter Barrie
Just need the goalie now.

The Leafs Project @theleafsproject
Tyson Barrie is headed to Edmonton on a one year deal. Unfortunately Barrie didn’t work out in Toronto but it was easily the right decision. Interesting decision for Edmonton considering they need help defensively and Barrie is better offensively then defensively.

Bear is legitimately better 5v5 than Barrie today. He’s their most effective D with the puck on his stick, and he’s a right shot. He’d do fine on PP1.

So will Barrie, if he doesn’t shoot the pill too much

The Athletic’s dom luszczyszyn @domluszczyszyn
this is a really good fit and a good price for the oilers…they don’t have a legit PP QB and one of their biggest issues is guys moving the puck up ice, which barrie can do well

Analytics writer Sean Tierney @ChartingHockey
Just working off of Dreger’s speculated term/AAV, 29 y.o. Tyson Barrie joins EDM for all the right reasons. He remains a very positively impactful offensive player and walks into an open role on perhaps the NHL’s deadliest PP. It’s a good fit for him and it’s good value for EDM.


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My take

  1. First of all, I wonder if this triggers another trade, maybe moving out Kris Russell to free up room for another goalie, which Oilers GM Ken Holland consistently had said is his top priority. Or it could be that a player or two will be traded for a goalie.
  2. I would have been OK if the Oilers went all in on Evan Bouchard this year, but this gives Bouchard one more year to develop outside the glare of the NHL, with Barrie picking up for Klefbom on the power play. On the right side, I can see Adam Larsson and Ethan Bear on the penalty killer, while Barrie gets almost all the power play time.
  3. Some folks in the analytics community are not sold on Barrie. They’re generally using on-ice numbers to rate him, numbers earned by groups of players. I’m not sold on blaming an individual player for the actions of a group of players. When we look at key individual indicators, such as time on ice in different situations (which is an indicator of a coach’s trust in a player, including in key defensive situations) and points scored in different situations (an excellent proxy for offensive ability), we find Barrie ranks well for NHL d-men in the past two years.
  4. This kind of analysis is also problematic, but it does give us an incredibly impressive list of d-men in the Top 10, so it passes that smell test which many other indicators fail. At the same time, this type of analysis is largely silent on the defensive ability of NHL d-men, which is near impossible to rate right now with publicly available, no matter what any analytics guy will claim.
  5. It’s incredibly heartening to any Oilers fan that Barrie turned down bigger money elsewhere to come here. As Holland says, when you sign a free agent you usually end up paying to much money or too much term. That didn’t happen here. This is a bargain contract on both counts.
  6. The Oilers are desperate for a few things, but better puck-moving from their d-men is near the top of that list. With Barrie replacing Matt Benning on the right side, and Caleb Jones stepping in for Oscar Klefbom (which is essentially a wash, as both players are strong puckmovers), Edmonton will be improved in this category, maybe vastly improved, as Benning was a weak puck mover while Barrie is a strong one.


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