Expected to be traded, not because of his performance, but because he’s a luxury the Edmonton Oilers can’t afford anymore, we will look at teams that could use the services of Tyson Barrie for the next two seasons. There may be more teams intrigued by the defender, but given the situation of those listed below, these teams seem the most likely fit. Here’s a look.
The Carolina Hurricanes blew a 3-2 series against the New York Rangers this postseason and lost their first game at home in Game 7 of the second round. It wasn’t ideal that their starting goaltender Frederik Anderson was injured for a significant portion of the season, including all of the playoffs.
Nevertheless, the Hurricanes have a ton of work to do this offseason with 10 roster players up for new contracts, including Anthony DeAngelo, Ethan Bear, Ian Cole, and Brendan Smith. Bear has already been given permission to talk to other teams, so it is very unlikely he will be back, while there are no deals in place for depth defensive defencemen Cole and Smith. The player to watch is DeAngelo, as the Hurricanes aren’t known to like paying top dollar for players. That is why they let Dougie Hamilton go in free agency after great seasons with the team.
Brett Pesce is the only right defenceman, other than fringe NHLer Jalen Chatfield, signed with the team, so the Oilers may be in need of a power-play specialist and a second-line right defence. Barrie fits that mould perfectly, and the Hurricanes would get more value playing Barrie higher up in the lineup while saving a ton of cap space after what DeAngelo will ask for.
DeAngelo is a restricted free agent (RFA) who is arbitration-eligible, but the Hurricanes will also be looking to bring back a number of forwards in Vincent Trocheck, Nino Niederreiter, and Martin Necas at the very least. Management is known to be cheap, and with an even better opportunity to play an important role in Carolina than in Edmonton, the Hurricanes should again get their money’s worth out of a player.
Kris Letang has yet to be re-signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins as free agency looms closer. It is becoming clear that he will try to get the money he’s looking for from another team, even though his entire career has been with the Penguins. Their star defenceman has been on three Stanley Cup-winning teams and is worth a lot, considering he finished sixth amongst defencemen in scoring last season at age 35.
Letang has said he’s looking to play at least four more seasons, so any team committing to him won’t need to for too long. The Penguins are already paying four defenders over $4 million per season but are actively trying to trade at least one of them. There’s a good chance that Letang makes it to free agency when the likelihood of returning will decrease even more.
That’s where a trade for Barrie comes in. For a player who can put up great numbers offensively, he’s paid less than many defencemen around him. He does lack in defensive play compared to these elite defencemen with all-around skill, but playing beside Brain Dumoulin would have a major positive impact like Barrie had alongside Brett Kulak.
Again, the Penguins would have a replacement who can play a similar style of game for what should be around $3 million less per season. With just two years remaining on Barrie’s deal, it fits into the closing window the Penguins have to make their last run at a Cup with Sidney Crosby and possibly Evgeni Malkin, and they will need a power-play specialist on the back-end to give them a chance.
Like the two teams above, the Dallas Stars may have a hole to fill, but it is more certain at this point that John Klingberg will test free agency after he voiced his displeasure earlier in the season. The money that he was expecting was instead given to Ryan Suter for four seasons and Miro Heiskanen on an extension. It looked like there was a chance Klingberg would be dealt at the deadline, but the Stars were in contention and ended up qualifying for the playoffs.
With a hole in the top-four and on the right side, the Stars will be looking to shore up that spot in free agency or trade. Klingberg expects a decent pay raise from the $4.25 million he was making for the last seven years, as this will likely be the last big contract of his career. If the Stars are unwilling to pay $6-$7 million-plus for Klingberg, that should take players like Letang and DeAngelo out of the mix.
This should then direct management’s attention to Barrie, who makes just $250,000 more than Klingberg and should provide the same value (from “NHL’s top free-agent defensemen in 2022: Kris Letang, John Klingberg and more,” The Athletic, 6/24/22). This would give Dallas a couple of years to get their affairs in order on the back-end and Thomas Harley a little time to develop and eventually move into the top-four. The Stars need another top-four defenceman, as Suter is aging and won’t continue to provide the same value he once did.
Chances are high that Barrie will be traded this offseason by the Oilers. The team doesn’t have enough cap space, with internal options to replace him and a lot more work to do with their free agents and finding a starting goaltender. The question is, which team will show interest in Barrie, and will he be traded before the NHL draft, in free agency or after?
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer covering mainly the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date with NHL Stats News, trade talks, and daily betting guides.
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