Yes, it’s over. No really, it’s finally over! Tyson Barrie has signed a four-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche at a $5.5 AAV. Many reports were surfacing all around about a possible trade in the works with the Edmonton Oilers specifically. In fact a ton of Edmonton media were already talking as if it was a done deal, claiming Barrie and Patrick Roy don’t get along, debating who he’d partner with in a Oilers jersey, etc etc.
It seems Barrie was the victim of off-season boredom and having the same agent as Ryan O’Reilly, which is a recipe for rumor chaos. However, I stayed confident despite all of the nonsense, that Barrie would remain wearing Burgundy and Blue. Joe Sakic said on more than one occasion, that Barrie would be signed and at camp, whether it was through arbitration or not. It would’ve taken something extremely enticing for Colorado to trade Barrie.
Don Meehan, Barrie’s agent, tells me the sides settled right before arbitrator was to render decision
— Adrian Dater (@adater) July 31, 2016
Now that this is all said and done, the Avalanche can now move on with life, and focus on the upcoming season. Nobody wanted another O’Reilly distraction around the team, so good on Barrie and Colorado’s management for getting this finished without any lingering worries or issues.
There aren’t many defenders in the NHL who can match what Barrie does for the Avalanche, and you can bet every other team in the league would absolutely love to have him. Now that he’s signed for at least another four years, we can look forward to seeing him develop into an even more dangerous hockey player.
Barrie just turned 25 years old, the best is yet to come, and that’s a very exciting thought for the team and fans alike.
Colorado’s Core Signed
When it comes down to the core players of the Avalanche, as of right now they are all locked-in for the foreseeable future. Colorado’s front office have done a terrific job with signing them to solid long-term contracts.
Matt Duchene, Gabe Landeskog, Semyon Varlamov, Erik Johnson, Nathan MacKinnon, and now Barrie are all signed long-term for under $6.3 million. That’s some nice business right there, both for the players and the team.
Expect Barrie to take that next step in his development like the rest of Colorado’s core players. If they do, the Avalanche will most certainly be in the playoffs next season.
Who Will Partner Tyson Barrie?
The most important thing concerning Barrie now is, who exactly does he play with? Last year it was Nick Holden on most nights, that didn’t work out and never was going to, Barrie is at least a top 4 defenseman, while Holden should be seeing limited minutes on the bottom pairing. Holden has moved on to the New York Rangers while the Avalanche have brought in some new faces on the back-end to replace him and the others who weren’t kept.
New faces such as Eric Gelinas, Fedor Tyutin, Patrick Wiercioch, along with top prospects Chris Bigras and Nikita Zadorov, are all relatively new/brand new to the team. A lot of fans want to see Erik Johnson play with Barrie, though that puts the only two right-handed defenders on the squad together.
Francois Beauchemin has been playing with EJ on the top pair, but he could be a decent option for Barrie’s partner as well, staying put while Barrie skates ahead and does what he does best. However, that would mean someone else has to take Beauchemin’s spot on the top pairing.
This will all be sorted out during training camp and pre-season of course. One thing is for sure though, Colorado’s defense is much better than it was a year ago. It’s been well documented that defense is where improvements needed to be made, and I think they’ve done enough this off-season.
Barrie’s new contract is further proof that the Avalanche have the backing from ownership to spend/invest in order to get this team back to winning ways.
Sebastian Noble is currently in his third year with The Hockey Writers covering the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. Liverpool, England, and of course Colorado Avalanche & Florida Panthers supporter. You can follow him on Twitter @SebastianHNoble