After Adam Larsson opted not to stay with Edmonton and instead signed with Seattle as their expansion pick, the Oilers quickly turned their focus towards retaining Tyson Barrie. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports (Twitter link) that the two sides are nearing an agreement on a new three-year contract. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug adds (Twitter link) that the deal is expected to carry an AAV of $4.5MM.
The 30-year-old entered the free agent market a year ago coming off a disappointing season with Toronto and wasn’t able to get the money or term he was seeking. Instead, he opted to take a one-year pillow contract in the hopes of rebuilding his value. Barrie picked the Oilers as the team for that contract, a logical decision with the potential to pile up the assists setting up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It was a wise choice.
Barrie led all NHL defensemen in scoring this season with 48 points in 56 games, helping earn him the fifth slot in our Top 50 UFA list. It was the fifth time in the past seven years that he had at least that many points, making him one of the best and most consistent threats from the back end in the offensive zone in the league. However, his defensive struggles have been well-documented as he basically gives back some of the goals he helps produce in the form of poor mistakes that land in the back of the net.
Nevertheless, having a prominent offensive weapon is never a bad thing to have and with the term being limited to three years, there shouldn’t be a considerable drop in effectiveness over the life of the contract. Edmonton’s power play should continue to be lethal for the foreseeable future as a result of this contract.
Meanwhile, assuming this deal gets finalized along with the long-expected signing of Zach Hyman, the bulk of the heavy lifting will be done for GM Ken Holland as those two contracts will take up most of the rest of their projected $13.7MM in cap space, per CapFriendly. However, with Oscar Klefbom’s playing future remaining in doubt, he looks like a candidate for LTIR once again which would give Edmonton a bit more flexibility to try to add another piece in the coming days.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.