Colorado Avalanche Could Trade Tyson Barrie to Toronto Maple Leafs

Dec 21, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) skates past Toronto Maple Leafs right wing P.A. Parenteau (15) during the second period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 21, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) skates past Toronto Maple Leafs right wing P.A. Parenteau (15) during the second period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs could effect a trade for defenseman Tyson Barrie.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie got a laceration on his leg wrestling with a “teammate” (I’m presuming buddy Nathan MacKinnon) in his hotel room and now he has to miss the remainder of the 2017 IIHF Worlds Championships.

Cue laugh track. That is the most Colorado Avalanche of things this year.

Anyway, Barrie may never live this down among his Avs teammates — or here on Mile High Sticking — but he’s expected to make a full recovery and not even miss out on his offseason training.

As we saw with all the trade rumors last year, there are a lot of teams who want Tyson Barrie on their roster. The Edmonton Oilers in particular seemed really intent on acquiring him.

However, recently a proposal came to me from Andrew Boehmer of Editor in Leaf. He wanted to know what the Colorado Avalanche would want in return for Barrie, a potential trade target for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Now, trading Barrie hasn’t been as much in the news this offseason as it was last. However, we all know what GM Joe Sakic‘s ask is for one of his core forwards — a defenseman, a prospect and a draft pick. (I pointed out to Andrew that Sakic was greedy.) Barrie isn’t Matt Duchene, though, so I tempered the ask:

"Colorado needs a two-way defenseman. They need a top-6 forward. Prospects for either would be acceptable. I’m guessing they’d want a draft pick since they got robbed."

Andrew came back with the following:

"So, a guy like Brendan Leipsic or Josh Leivo may be of some interest?"

Brendan Leipsic is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound left wing that The Hockey News calls “an agitating role player with a little upside.” Here are his assets according to the site:

"Is extremely industrious and excels at agitating and frustrating his opponents. Displays two-way acumen and the ability to put big numbers up in the minor leagues. Never backs down from challenges."

Here are his flaws according to the site:

"Does not have optimum talent to serve as a scoring forward at the National Hockey League level (and is best suited to be a role player), so he needs to improve upon all the little things in his game."

Josh Leivo isn’t much better. He’s a 6-foot-1, 204-pound left wing that The Hockey News says has “some upside.”  Here are his assets according to the site:

"A prolific scorer in the junior ranks, he has very good hockey sense and a projectable frame. Is also a solid performer when he doesn’t have the puck and adept at playmaking."

Here are his flaws according to the site:

"Needs to get physically stronger in order to withstand the rigors of the big league. Also, could stand to be a bit more selfish and shoot the puck with more frequency."

Now, neither of these guys is necessarily a bad player. However, Tyson Barrie is an excellent offensive defenseman and a right-hand shot to boot. Even in the Colorado Avalanche’s terrible 2016-17 season, he earned 38 points (7 goals, 31 assists), preceded by a 49-point season (13 goals, 36 assists) and a career-high 53-point season (12 goals, 41 assists.)

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In other words, Barrie is worth a little bit more than a couple of role players.

When I pointed that out to Andrew, he countered by offering prospect Kasperi Kapanen.

Kapanen is a speedy, skilled right wing who plays smart hockey. From Finland, he has the smooth skating characteristic of European players. The Hockey News calls him a “skilled scoring winger with upside.”

While inch-for-inch (5-foot-10 Barrie to 6-foot Kapanen) and pound-for-pound (190-pound Barrie to 178-pound Kapenen) this trade makes sense, Kasperi is still an unproven prospect. Colorado would need more.

I told Andrew the Avalanche would also need the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first rounder as compensation. So, the trade would look like this:

When I remembered that the Toronto Maple Leafs GM is former Detroit Red Wings goon Brendan Shanahan, I told Andrew he had to throw in their seventh-rounder, too, as the price of doing business. I called it the Rene Corbet Payback Tax. I also tried to slip Blake Comeau into the deal, but he only accepted the Payback Tax.

Andrew never officially accepted my enire trade proposal. However, he wrote a post about potential Maple Leafs trades, and here’s what he came up with:

Left wing James Van Riemsdyk is 28 years old. The Hockey News describes him as a “quality big scoring winger.” He’s considered an “outstanding combination of size, speed and skill” with an accurate shot and willingness to drive to the net. The Hockey News thinks he needs to use his size (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) and nastiness to better advantage.

That’s so old school Avs. Colorado prizes speed, youth and skill. I don’t think the Colorado Avalanche would be willing to give up youth for size.

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However, if the Toronto Maple Leafs threw in, say, a second rounder, the Avalanche might consider a player who got 62 points (29 goals, 33 assists) last season. Toronto would definitely have to take on Blake Comeau, though.

And I still want my Rene Corbet Payback Tax.