Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie has been with the organization since they drafted him in the third round back in 2009. He has since played in 470 games with Colorado but with some promising young players on the horizon, he has been part of trade speculation over the last couple of years. With one year left on his deal, Barrie told Mike Chambers of the Denver Post that he wants to remain with the team and get an extension done this offseason:
I love it here. I’ve been here my whole career and I’d like to be a part of it going forward. But at the end of the day, that’s up to management and where they see this going. That’s probably a conversation for a later date. But this is the second home for me. It’s become home. I spend a lot of time here. I love the guys. I love the organization. At the end of the day, it’s a business. But I do love it here.
Barrie’s offensive prowess (including 103 points over 132 games over the past two seasons) has made his $5.5MM AAV a relative bargain and considering he’ll be 29 at the start of 2020-21 when his next contract will begin, it stands to reason that he’ll be looking at a nice raise on his next deal. That presents a bit of a conundrum for the Avs who are a team that doesn’t typically come close to spending to the Upper Limit (and will be handing winger Mikko Rantanen a significant contract as an RFA this summer). Is it worth handing out a big contract to Barrie knowing their financial limitations and the fact that they have quality prospects like Cale Makar and Conor Timmins in the system?
Makar is one of the top prospects in the league and is having a dominant second season in college. There’s a good chance that he’ll turn pro next season and should be able to play a regular role right away. Timmins has yet to play this season due to a concussion but his upside is still high. Both youngsters are strong at the offensive end and are right-hand shots like Barrie. Can they justify having all three on the roster a few years from now?
That’s what makes the trade potential for Barrie intriguing. Right-shot defenders are in high demand and his skillset is one that many teams would covet. Colorado could get a significant return for his services so even if Barrie wants to sign an extension quickly (he can do so as of July 1st), it wouldn’t be surprising to see his name resurface in trade speculation closer to the draft.