One of the few ways the Edmonton Oilers might be able to free up some salary cap space they otherwise don’t have would be to move defenseman Tyson Barrie ahead of this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. He’s currently on the shelf with an injury, but it’s not considered to be long-term. So too, he could be of use to a couple of NHL clubs who have more of a need for him than the Oilers might, who also have Evan Bouchard.
Because Barrie’s $4.5 million salary might be an attractive thing for the Oilers to move, it’s no wonder the defenseman’s name came up over and over in an article by The Athletic, suggesting 25 trades Edmonton could make this season. Of the 25, just under 10 of them involved Barrie, some of them were actually quite interesting.
** Note: Because news broke that Semyon Varlamov exercised his right not to waive his no-trade to join the Oilers, we’ll exclude any proposals that included the New York Islanders’ netminder.
Trade 1: Braden Holtby for Tyson Barrie
A one-for-one trade, this deal would address the Oilers’ short-term needs in goal and potentially give the Dallas Stars an option to replace John Klingberg, assuming he bolts in free agency or is moved ahead of the deadline. The benefit for the Oilers would be an upgrade to the netminding this season, but it also offers some short- and long-term cap savings.
Dallas would rather move Anton Khudobin and the team is still battling for a playoff spot. As such, the Stars’ push for the postseason would need to play out before Holtby became officially available. One NHL scout said:
Braden’s a guy who’s got to be enticing, but I don’t see Dallas taking on Barrie’s contract. If Dallas is in the playoff hunt, I don’t think they’re trading Klingberg. So why would you bring Barrie in?source – ‘Who says no? Evaluating 25 Oilers trades, from goalie upgrades to bold swaps and the ultimate blockbuster’ – Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 03/09/2022
Trade 2: Carson Soucy, 2022 fourth-round pick for Tyson Barrie
While there is some upside to Carson Soucy and he is a shutdown defender with one more year on a $2.75 million deal, he’s a left-shot defenseman and the Oilers potentially have a bigger need on the right side. Seattle certainly could use Barrie since only Adam Larsson consistently plays for the Kraken as a right-shot defenseman, and Seattle could handle the cap commitment.
Related: Varlamov Passing on Oilers a Bad Sign for Holland’s NHL Trade Deadline
One NHL scout said this was a deal the Oilers should make “all day long.” He really liked what Soucy brought in Minnesota and it’s something different for the Oilers who have too much of the same thing.
Trade 3: P.K. Subban (at 50 percent retained) for Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris
The idea of trading for P.K. Subban is interesting for a few reasons. First, it swaps right-shot defensemen. Second, the Oilers bring in a player who was once a Norris Trophy winner but isn’t anything close now. Could Subban be another Duncan Keith? One could argue Keith has been better than a lot of fans gave him credit for.
Subban has only got this season left on a hefty deal (half of which the Devils will pay for) and Edmonton can move on, essentially making this trade a cap dump after this season, should they want.
The plus side might be that Subban has something to prove and if there’s anything left in his game, he could be re-signed at a low-cost next season. The downside is that he’s often considered a distraction and he’s earned a reputation as a cheap-shot artist with all of his recent slew-foots.
Trade 4: Josh Manson for Tyson Barrie
This trade only works if Anaheim has determined that Josh Manson won’t be re-signing and the club is open to taking on a contract in the place of his departure. For the Ducks, Barrie is a transition player who can help the Ducks grow as young team while quarterbacking a power play until their prospects are ready. In a way, it’s what Edmonton planned with Barrie and Bouchard, but Bouchard was more ready than the Oilers expected.
The argument against this proposal is that the Ducks have Kevin Shattenkirk and Jamie Drysdale and the club would have to lose both Manson and Hampus Lindholm for them to feel the pinch and need to add someone like Barrie at this stage. It’s also not clear if Manson would be interested in the Oilers.