The Edmonton Oilers have their defenseman. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Oilers are finalizing a one-year contract with veteran puck mover Tyson Barrie. The deal is expected to be for less than $4,000,000 per season.
*** UPDATE 2:14 pm est: The Oilers have officially announced the contract. It’s a one-year deal that carries a modest AAV of $3,750,000 for the 2020-21 season.***
The appeal, for Barrie, is that he’ll get a chance to rebuild his value after a ‘down’ year in Toronto where he scored just 39 points. He’ll be the primary puck mover on Edmonton’s defense, and will likely replace Oscar Klefbom on the team’s top powerplay unit. Klefbom is going to miss “significant” time with a shoulder injury and could be out for the entire 2020-21 season.
What Does He Do Well?:
Tyson Barrie is one of the better, more underrated offensive defenseman in the entire NHL. He’s mobile, can transport the puck up the ice, and has an exceptional first pass. Barrie has proven he can post strong offensive numbers when playing with skill, and he’s a real weapon on the powerplay.
Barrie had a ‘bad’ offensive season with just 39 points (5 g, 34 a) in 70 games with the Maple Leafs. Prior to that, Barrie had eclipsed the 50-point mark in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Barrie has handled top-four minutes for almost the entirety of his career. Since 2014-15, Barrie has played at least 21:22 per game. He averaged 21:53 per game this past season with the Leafs, up six seconds per game over his 2018-19 time-on-ice.
Possession wise, Barrie has been strong pretty much over the entirety of his career. 2019-20 was no exception. Barrie posted a 53.8% Corsi For (3.1 rel) and a 52.1% Fenwick (1.4 rel) while starting 58.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone.
(All stats via hockey-reference)
Here’s a look at Barrie’s scouting report via The Sports Forecaster.
Has good instincts from the back end and plenty of mobility, plus excellent offensive ability and a good point shot. Is a huge asset as a quarterback on a power play at the NHL level. Lacks ideal size for the blueline position at the NHL level. Needs to add some bulk to be able to better defend against bigger forwards (and cope with injuries). Is not physical.