I am only going to entertain one suitor for this scenario, and that is a trade that would see Jonathan Drouin come to the Colorado Avalanche for our coveted offensive defensemen, Tyson Barrie.
To me, Tyson Barrie must not be given up for any other player than Jonathan Drouin because you’re trying to establish chemistry that you know has history, any other trade is too risky.
What Would it Take?
Well, I think that Colorado would ask for at least Drouin and a prospect, or a second/third round pick if they were going to throw Barrie in a trade scenario.
They also might consider adding in a prospect like Connor Bleackley to make the Lightning feel better about losing a top-tier forward such as Drouin. Unfortunately for Drouin, he’s just not suited to the current lineup that the Lightning employ.
But, Connor Bleackley might provide more of what Tampa is looking for in a couple of years: a solid third-line responsible center with a good nose for scoring gritty.
Unloading Barrie also saves the Avalanche from having to sign Barrie this offseason, which would put them very near the salary cap because MacKinnon will obviously be re-signed, and it will cost a fair amount to sign him.
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They can also hope to bide their time more on Bigras and Zadorov to develop and contribute to the defensive corps sooner than later. Nonetheless, they would be losing a right-handed defensemen with a lot of upside that is just starting to find his potential.
Still, it seems that Jonathan Drouin is on his way out of Tampa, and I have to imagine that Roy is seriously contemplating the idea because of the chemistry he witnessed between Drouin and MacKinnon in his final year coaching in the QMJHL.
I just don’t see this happening either, but that’s why they’re trades, because they are often shocking when they happen.
So — besides Pickard, or some prospect getting thrown in on another trade — I view Tyson Barrie as the most likely to hit the market come deadline.
The Avalanche should be looking for a shakeup before the deadline, and a way to alleviate cap space come this summer.
Barrie could find himself as a casualty of this situation, especially if the Avs can find a way to bring in Drouin, who’s not an RFA until the 2017-18 season.
Still, there’s two more scenarios to consider before the conclusion strikes ink.
Next: John Mitchell and a Prospect