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Should Canucks Consider Trade for Oilers Tyson Barrie

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Vancouver Canucks, OIlers Barrie interest
Edmonton Oilers right-shot defenceman Tyson Barrie would fit the bill for the needs of the Vancouver Canucks.

Go through the list of NHL teams that need improvement on the right-side of their D-corps and the Vancouver Canucks are definitely on it, but why in h-e-double-hockey-sticks would the Edmonton Oilers want to move Tyson Barrie?

Well, according to Sportsnet, the Oilers have increased the work load and responsibility for young Evan Bouchard, a righty with one year remaining on his entry-level deal, and they’ll soon be spending some big dollars on his extension. They also need cap space relief in general.

Barrie had slipped below Bouchard on the depth chart at even strength and on special teams, and is making $4.5-million the next two seasons.

Too old at age 31? Heck no, and he brings qualities and depth the Vancouver Canucks could definitely use. It would also bring about the next stop on the Victoria native’s whirlwind tour of Canada-based NHL clubs, having taken part in a one season adventure in Toronto with the Maple Leafs followed by the last two in Alberta.

Aside from the chatter between Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the topic, this conversation took the next step with our pals at Pittsburgh Hockey Now (PHN) and Montreal Hockey Now as it relates to the future of Kris Letang with the Penguins and who replaces him, and the future of Jeff Petry with the Habs.

The conversation about those two, Letang age 35 and Petry age 34, are irrelevant to the Canucks aside from the Barrie part.

As writer Dan Kingerski observed, the 683-game NHL veteran would bring somewhat affordable qualities to the Penguins. The same could be said for the Canucks. A former top pair guy with the Colorado Avalanche, Barrie would fulfill a need that won’t be met in a less than ideal NHL free agent market.

In 2020-’21 he was among the leaders in defencemen scoring with 48 points (8-40-48) in the 56-game campaign. This past season, with reduced minutes, Barrie fell to 41 points in 73 games.

This postseason, Barrie’s analytics were sterling, as were Bouchard’s.

When doing their due diligence while considering Barrie as a replacement for unrestricted free agent (UFA) Letang, PHN pointed out:

Barrie’s defensive zone coverage is a bit looser than Letang’s, but Barrie also makes significantly fewer turnovers. In four of the last five seasons, Barrie has averaged only 41 turnovers. 2020-21 was an outlier with 62 giveaways.

In those same four seasons, Letang averaged 81 turnovers.

At the 2022 NHL trade deadline, 31-year-old lefty Nick Leddy was dealt from the Detroit Red Wings to the St. Louis Blues for a depth defenceman, fourth-line forward Oskar Sundqvist, and a second-round pick.

The summer market price tags, or the range, have not been set. Barrie probably involves a second-round pick, something the Vancouver Canucks do not have this summer, and at least one more piece, probably something like the value of a legit prospect, another thing lacking with the BC Boys, or a player OIlers GM Ken Holland feels his team needs.

The Canucks would obviously have to make another move or two elsewhere on the roster as an accompaniment with salary cap in mind. Such is the dance.

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