The dismantling of the Colorado Avalanche is about to get underway. Gabriel Landeskog rumours are popping up everywhere, the scout watch at their games is on, and you have to believe we are going to see upwards of 4 none UFA’s get moved off this roster, in addition to the Jarome Iginla types that’ll be on the move. One guy who isn’t really getting mentioned as available or unavailable at this time however is Tyson Barrie, and he is the guy the Edmonton Oilers would likely love to get their hands on above anyone else.
he can be had
— Adrian Dater (@adater) January 9, 2017
It should be added that Dater is likely more plugged into the Avs organization than any other media personality out there.
It was no secret last offseason that the Oilers were extremely intrigued as to what was going to happen with Barrie. From April until the week before the draft, most in the hockey world didn’t think he was about to be dealt, they knew it. It was just a matter of when and to whom. Then Joe Sakic came out and declared that Barrie wasn’t going anywhere, which cooled the rumours, but didn’t kill them seeing how he had said the same thing about Ryan O’Reilly right before trading him moments before the 2015 draft. But things did get settled with the Barrie camp and he re-signed for 4 years/22 million.
The big question here for the Avs is why? Why would you move this guy? He is just now entering his prime, he’s locked down for the next three seasons, the Avs weakness is on the blueline, and D-men…especially right handed shooting puck movers….are near impossible to find. So that’s a pretty damn good list of reasons not to do it, but I think there might be a few reasons for the Avs to pull the trigger on moving Barrie out if you dig a little deeper.
First of all, the return. Again I’ll go back to “look at what the Devils got for Adam Larsson”. I highly doubt anyone would give the Avs one for one in the middle of the season for Barrie, but he would still net them a massive return. Saying this immediately makes me think they’ll push any possible Barrie talks to the offseason with the reasoning being “there is no rush, and in the offseason we’ll have 30 teams looking to deal for him”. I hear that logic all the time, but the truth is that GM’s aren’t anywhere near as desperate in the offseason as they are at the trade deadline. Plus, for a 26 year old D-man with three years left, anyone who wants him in the offseason will be in on him now. The offseason won’t make a lick of difference. So if they did move him by the trade deadline, they would be doing so at his peak value.
Second, if this team is going to tear it down, they’ll likely look to be a cap floor team. The fans in Denver likely aren’t going to be overly excited about another rebuild after they just went through an 8 year process that netted them two playoff appearances, neither of which were actual progression but rather just two lucky seasons. So that could be a very empty building for the next couple of seasons, and they have some contracts which will be extremely tough to get off the books. Yes, guys like Duchene and Landeskog are likely to go first, and they have big contracts. But with any trade involving a big contract now in the NHL, salary pretty much has to be coming back. So for example, Duchene will likely be dealt. But they’ll likely only get as much as 3 million off the books for next season. Then you have guys who are either unmovable or you’ll have to eat the same salary if you move them like Beauchemin, Varlamov, Johnson, Soderberg, Comeau, and Colborne. And we know MacKinnon isn’t going anywhere. So from a team budget point of view it could be in the Avs best interest to move Barrie.
Third, and this is more so a question, but do we know things are now good with Barrie and the Avs? I know I always assumed the issue was between him and Patrick Roy, but I don’t know that it was JUST between those two, and I’m not sure others do either. It could be the case, but it is something I would like an answer to and have never really heard one. There is also the mindset that you simply just need to shakeup the room. This core isn’t working, so you have to move on, and Barrie is a big part of this teams core.
So this leads to me to the Oilers, and IF the Avs were willing to move Barrie, what might they want? Like I said earlier, it’ll have to be big. One nice chip the Oilers have, especially for the Avs, is Caleb Jones. He played great for the Americans at the World Juniors, he’s nearly a PPG player defenceman in the WHL this season, he’s not far away from playing in the show, and from a marketing standpoint he grew up in Denver. He’s not a right handed shot like Barrie is, but he is a damn good prospect.
They’d also without a doubt need to part with their 2017 1st round pick (this would leave the Oilers without a pick until the 3rd round of the draft). It happens in just about every deal for a relatively big name, and I believe you’re going to see a lot of 1st round picks on the move between now and February 28th. It isn’t near as tough of a pill to swallow this year as it’s been in years past. And besides, who at this point and time would you like the Oiles to get? Cale Makar? An undersized, right handed shooting D-man who you’re hoping will become a Tyson Barrie type?
I believe Mark Fayne would be in the deal. The Oilers would need to shed his contract, and for the Avs you’ll have to take on some salary anyway so why not get a RH shot guy who can take the beatings from top lines for a season? He’d be a cheap buyout after the season, or perhaps Vegas takes him in the expansion draft?
We are still lacking a pretty big piece in this deal. So I believe the Oilers would need to take a very tough look at one of Oscar Klefbom or Brandon Davidson here. Klefbom on top of all that would likely be too much, so I like Davidson as the guy even though I really love the game both guys bring to the table. The tricky thing with Davidson could be that his value is a little unknown right now. He’s proven he can play in the NHL, I see him as a solid number 4 guy as early as next season, but it’s tough to tell how other teams may value him.
It’s kind of weird talking about the Oilers packaging D-men (in this case one on the current roster and one who could be the top D prospect), but it’s become a strength in the organization. You’d still have Klefbom in this scenario, plus Sekera, Nurse, Oesterle, Reinhart, and Simpson (don’t get me wrong, not saying we love the latter three, but they can play on a bottom pair). You also have kids like William Lagesson and Markus Niemelainen in the system too who aren’t anything flashy, don’t put up numbers offensively, but they both look like solid stay at home types who have mobility, can move the puck and have a chance to play. Finally, it sure sounds like they want to re-sign Kris Russell. As I wrote about last week, that’s not ideal in my mind mainly because of what he may cost, but he would make them even deeper on the left side.
So for me, I think a pretty solid offer would be Davidson, Jones, Fayne and their 2017 1st round pick for Barrie. From the Avs point of view you get a kid in Davidson who is actually only 26 days younger than Barrie, but will be a lot cheaper for next season, and the Avs have a need for LH shooting D-men. You also add two big chips to your prospect pool, and as I said earlier a guy in Fayne who can chew up some tougher minutes next season that’ll shelter some of their kids. Obviously for the Oilers, you fill a massive hole in your lineup. He would bring some big time offensive punch from the backend that they lack, specifically on the PP where he would likely slide right onto the top unit. Darcy McLeod did this great piece digging real deep on Barrie last spring:
They likely could do Klefbom who is a longer term and smaller cap hit straight up, but I feel like the organization having just committed long term to Klefbom like they did won’t want to move him unless of course it was for a guy they simply couldn’t say no to.
Would the Avs do that deal? I don’t know. I do believe that’s a real solid offer, but again I’m pretty high on Davidson. Some might call that being a homer. And I wouldn’t blame the Avs if they wouldn’t want to move Barrie. You really need a solid blueline to do a rebuild, something that neither they or the Oilers had all these years. But you also really need to build up the system. And the Avs are a bad team with a very shallow prospect pool.
The watch is now on though. Should the Avs be willing to move Barrie, expect the Oilers to be one of the teams most often mentioned as they continue to overhaul their blueline.
Before I get going today, I came across this post on facebook Saturday night. I don’t know Tina or Jason quite frankly, but I know quite a few people that do and figured having a little platform I would try to help out and hopefully a few of you can do the same, so give the link a click and watch the video:
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