Tyson Barrie’s Fate Uncertain with Colorado Avalanche

Apr 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) controls the puck in the first period against the St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center. The Blues defeated the Avalanche 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) controls the puck in the first period against the St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center. The Blues defeated the Avalanche 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Tyson Barrie, the young explosive offensive defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, may prove difficult to sign this offseason.

Earlier in the year, Tyson Barrie’s contract talks were reportedly not going well, and arbitration was the main focus of those discussions; arbitration is still seemingly a possibility for Barrie, and a trade might even be possible as well.

Furthermore, with the cap issues that the Colorado Avalanche face this summer, Barrie may be a likely candidate for a trade, so they can avoid paying him, especially since discussions are seemingly rocky.

Still, the offer would have to be tremendous, which would probably mean they would have to pay whatever player they get in return.

It’s obvious what Tyson Barrie brings to the Colorado Avalanche, and he also has clear potential to become even more impactful than he currently is.

He needs to work on his defensive qualities before he becomes a bonafide top-four defenseman, but his offense is definitely there.

Still what kind of money could Barrie be asking for? And what kind of money can the Avalanche afford to pay him?

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The Avalanche have around 19 mil in cap space for next season, and they need to sign around seven to nine players for the NHL roster with that cash. However, a good amount of it will go to Nathan MacKinnon, and possibly Tyson Barrie.

I won’t get into MacKinnon’s contract right now because that could go a lot of different ways, and will at least take 4 million a year by all accounts, and that’s if he’s getting a short two-year bridge deal.

But, this post is about Tyson Barrie, and his possible contract, so let’s take a look.

Tyson Barrie Contract

What will it cost to sign Barrie to a deal? Some things to keep in mind:

— He’s likely to get a long term deal.

— Unless, talks don’t go smoothly and the Avalanche decide to sign him to a short two-year deal, holding him for two more years, and ensuring that he’s still a RFA at the conclusion of the contract.

— Barrie is not eligible for unrestricted free agency until July 1, 2019.

So, with that being said, I like to look at other contracts around the league for players that employ a similar style, and gauge what the Avs can expect to pay in lieu of those contracts.

Which players play a similar style of game as Barrie’s, while putting up relatable numbers, and might even be a good example of what the Avs can expect Barrie to become?

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Roman Josi (25): 4.0 mil cap hit through 2019-20. Josi had 61 points on the season, and was only a -3 while playing the toughest opponents with Shea Weber and averaging 25:29 in ice time.

John Klingberg (23): 4.25 mil cap hit through 2021-22. Klingberg had 58 points on the season and was a +22 with a 22:41 time on ice average.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (24): 5.5 mil cap hit through 2018-19. OEL had 55 points on the season and was only a – 6 while cementing the Arizona blue-line and averaging 24:46 in ice time.

Kevin Shattenkirk (27): 4.25 mil cap hit through 2016-17. Shattenkirk had 44 points on the season, and was a not so good -14 while playing on the Blues second pairing and chipping in 22:25 in ice time a night.

Tyson Barrie had 49 points on the season, was a dismal -16, and played second pairing minutes averaging 23:12 a night in ice time. He’s also 24 years old.

All the players above signed sensible contracts with their team based on their value. And, OEL is the only one that signed for more than a 4.25 million a year cap hit.

Furthermore, you could certainly make the case that all the players listed above are currently more skilled than Tyson Barrie, aside from maybe Kevin Shattenkirk, but Shattenkirk had an off year after his 44 points in 56 games last year before his injury.

Related Story: Tyson Barrie's Player Grade

Tyson Barrie has definitely not hit his prime yet, and can be expected to turn into an elite offensive defenseman; yet, he is likely always going to be a liability on the back-end.

So, is he worth as much as Klingberg, Josi, or Shattenkirk? He’s certainly not worth as much as OEL right?

I really don’t think he’s on par with any of the above listed players, except for Shattenkirk, and I suppose he may find himself with at least 4.25 mil a year by that logic.

However, I’d still like to see Barrie get another two year bridge deal worth around 3.75 mil just to see if he can improve his defense even more, and if he can while maintaining his offense, then he is definitely worth the big contract.

Unfortunately, I doubt that the Avalanche will find it easy to sign Barrie to such a deal, who is probably asking for a bit more than that, and longer term to boot.

Tyson Barrie Possible Trade

Which is why the possibility of a Tyson Barrie trade has to seem appealing if the offer is right, and allows them to use money to bring in a good defensively equipped blue-liner.

I honestly can’t say what that offer would even look like because I suspect teams are wary about Tyson Barrie and the ceiling of his defensive ability. He’s got to at least be worth a couple picks and a prospect you would imagine though.

Furthermore, the Avalanche could use the money they would have to use to sign Barrie, and put it toward another defenseman that is more reliable in his own end.

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Of course, this trade would have to be absolutely worth it for the Avalanche to pull the trigger, which is why I think it is more than likely both sides will figure out a way to lock things up long term at a reasonable price.

Nonetheless, the new regime has shown that they are not willing to budge on prices for contracts, so arbitration is also a distinct possibility for Barrie this summer, and the Avs may even choose to trade him if it comes down to that.


No matter what happens the decision is going to be tough. It will be difficult to determine how much money is appropriate to pay Tyson Barrie if they decide to keep him.

If they decide to move him, the Avalanche will not find it easy coming to equal terms with a team, particularly because they’ll be trading away an RFA that may or may not be easy to sign.

Finally, there is the possibility that a team sends the Avalanche an offer sheet. And depending on the salary they offer him, the Avs could expect at least a first and third round pick, and at most probably a first round, second round, and third round pick.

The offer sheet probably would not be a difficult decision for the Avs to make, and I suspect that they would take the compensation and let Tyson Barrie walk.

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This does not happen very often though, and it’s more likely that the Avalanche will trade him if they are truly trying to get rid of him.

It’s going to be a fun summer to watch, but it will also be rather nerve-racking to see what players might be leaving the fold, and how the Avalanche do with the trades, which are quite honestly inevitable.