With the immediate future of defacto #1 D-man Oscar Klefbom up in the air, the Edmonton Oilers have reeled in a handy replacement for him on the league’s #1 Power Play.
Expert puck mover and power play specialist Tyson Barrie has inked a 1-year deal in Edmonton, reportedly turning down better money elsewhere in order to come to Northern Alberta…as much as $2.25m less according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The AVV in Edmonton is expected to come in at $3.75m. For perspective: That money is shy of The $4.167m salary of Oscar Klefbom that appears destined for LTIR.
Barrie was 5-34-39 in 70 games for the Leafs last season. But the 5’11 Victoria, B.C. native is just a year separated from a 14-45-60 campaign in 78 games for Colorado in 2018-19. And Barrie has 346 points so far in his 554 game NHL career. There’s no question he knows what to do with the puck. And it should be noted that Barrie produced at his career pace after the Mike Babcock firing in late November.
It’s certainly a “show-me” contract. Barrie and his agent are no doubt betting that a year of quarterbacking a power play with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will help rehabilitate his stat line if not his reputation over-all as a top-flight NHL-er. Then next year, when considerably more cap room is slated to open up in Edmonton, both parties would have the option of re-upping on a longer deal with a richer payday. But at the very worst, it buys prospect Evan Bouchard another season to grow and mature.
Barrie is not a 1st pairing “defender”. His defence, while not a glaring issue, is certainly not his strength. But having the puck in the other guy’s zone is also a pretty good defensive strategy.
The signing does raise some new questions: With both Adam Larsson and Ethan Bear already on the RHS, where does Barrie slot in and what might that mean for the other two?
More to come…
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