With the Toronto Maple Leafs floundering near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and on a six-game losing streak, chatter has started building around some of their pending unrestricted free agents. Tyson Barrie in particular has looked like a fish out of water in Toronto after an offseason trade brought him to the Maple Leafs, and with his relatively low cap hit—the Colorado Avalanche retained salary in the deal so Barrie costs just $2.75MM this season—he has drawn interest from around the league.
Still, Toronto doesn’t seem eager to make a move. Speaking with Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com this week, Maple Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas preached patience when it comes to evaluating players:
I think the reality is, especially when you have a player with a long proven track record, I think you can make some major mistakes by being hasty and not trying to dig in to what you’re seeing on video, what you’re seeing in games, what you’re seeing via data or finding out from the player how they feel. You’ve got to dig into those aspects to try to find a solution to get that player to play to their potential.
Barrie, 28, still hasn’t scored a single goal this season after recording double-digit totals in five of the last six years. The fact that he has just seven assists is incredibly troubling as well, given he is coming off a 59-point campaign with Colorado last season. Some of that is not running the first powerplay in Toronto (a spot that Morgan Rielly holds), but there has been an obvious mismatch in system and style for Barrie in Toronto.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet included a note on Barrie in his recent 31 Thoughts column, writing that there is “definitely an understanding from all parties that this isn’t working so far.” Not only does the veteran defenseman have to worry about the Maple Leafs turning things around, but his value on the open market is also dropping daily.
Barrie was set to be one of the most sought-after defensemen in free agency, but with a contract season like this it’s unclear where his market will end up.
im sure every team in the league would be willing to buy low on Barrie, some even in hopes of flipping him again in a month or so.
Team struggling, new defenceman identified as root cause, rumors swirling? Just another season of Leafs Nation.
Return in a few days for another article in the series, What to do with Tyson Barrie?
In the meantime look forward to another episode of Will this coach be fired?
Don’t worry…. the NHL is going back to 1980 and Babcock coaching style will be ahead of its time.
The reality is this team sucks
Yep. The players seemed like they got paid and are content with just that.
@JD, that’s a helluva indictment, isn’t it? “We’re not here to win, just get paid!” The longer this goes on, the more that statement will seem true. But, rest assured, all of Rome will be in flames and Babs will continue to stubbornly bet on Babs… While it’s way too early, it wouldn’t surprise to see Ottawa finish ahead of the Leafs in the division. Shouldn’t be likely, based on rosters-on-paper, but you never know…
Yep. I just watched that first hand with Ottawa a couple of seasons ago and it shouldn’t happen, but for some reason it does. It’s amazing what some hungry young players and buried veterans can do when they play for each other.
No truer statement has been said.
Oviously you trade him when his value is low. Keep him and hope he goes on a hot streak and then assess to keep him or trade him. Comes a point in time where the excuses need to stop being made and production needs to be seen. I’ve watched all the games this year and i’ve seen maybe one good rush from him.
Reality is that yes they are garbage, but looks like they don’t care whether they win or lose. Constantly getting outshot, can’t kill penalties or work hard to kill them, and even worse not scoring much at all which was the only thing they actually did well. They got their big safe paychecks. But theyre content with being losers on and off the ice. Chicago and LAK are also in cap purgatory. Can’t keep too young guys around, can’t get rid of old bums. But at least they won a few cups before shelling out the monster killer contracts. These leafs haven’t won shit and probably never will. And if Dubas/Shanahan don’t realize just how much work and retooling that must be done between now and training camp 2020, the entire organization will be in need of yet another restart from scratch plan.
On Barrie. keeping him around through the winter just isn’t a good idea. Like muzzin you can’t let these guys play poorly and let them go without out getting SOMETHING!!
Ok being a bit more patient. But they can’t keep him much longer. Him or muzzin. Must be moved for something. They’re not going to help much the rest of this season. And definitely not after this season.
John Tavares well worth the 7/$77m…just in it for the money. Glad the islanders didn’t spend on him. They’re doing much better without him. LGI