Colorado Avalanche Should Not Trade Defenseman Tyson Barrie

DENVER, CO - MARCH 11: Tyson Barrie
DENVER, CO - MARCH 11: Tyson Barrie /

The Colorado Avalanche should not trade defenseman Tyson Barrie because it wouldn’t benefit the team in the long run.

When you have a dismal season, like the Colorado Avalanche just did in 16-17, you are bound to be drowning in the abundance of trade rumors. What makes this more difficult is the poor performance of the players leading to the dismal season, thus plummeting the trade value of all the players.

Depth players who could have previously brought a mid- or late-round pick are not even worth a 7th round pick. Top players who could have brought elite prospects and top draft picks are barely worth either of those.

Enter Tyson Barrie, who’s one of the Avalanche’s top players. If the Avs traded him now, while his stock was low, they wouldn’t get enough return.

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Trading away the 2009

Tyson Barrie was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL entry draft. It was a good draft for the Colorado Avalanche. In the first round the Avs took Matt Duchene. In the sedond round there were two picks, being Ryan O’Reilly and Stefan Elliott. Third round was Tyson Barrie. Elliott being the only bust in the group.

Stefan Elliott was traded to Arizona Coyotes in September 2015. O’Reilly, the other second rounder was traded to Buffalo Sabres in a bigger trade at the 2015 draft after difficult negotiations and him asking for too much money. Barrie has had his fair shake in the rumor mill. Matt Duchene has been constantly there for the past about 18 months, after his slump in October 2015.

So it looks like finally, when Avs draft well, they are trading everyone they got.

Tyson Barrie, a Defensive Liability

I don’t think I have ever heard a compliment of Tyson Barrie’s defensive skills. Part of that may be because he is so talented in the offense, so no one even remembers he should actually defend now and then.

I remember the countless times I watched an opponent score when Tyson Barrie could not cover his man properly, even when he was positioned properly. He is not a physical defenseman, but he should improve his stick skills when defending. Barrie is tied with his teammate Matt Duchene as the worst +/- of last season in the whole NHL with his -34.

That said, lets see the reason why he does have so much value for the Colorado Avalanche.

Tyson Barrie, an Offensive Wizard

The Colorado Avalanche scored 166 goals during the past season. That is an NHL-worst by some margin as the next team stands at 182 goals. Despite this, Barrie scored 7 goals and had 31 assists, totaling for 38 points in 74 games. That is tied for third within the team with Mikko Rantanen, who played in 75 games. (Note: Barrie had the biggest time on ice average within the team, so he still played more minutes than Rantanen.)

Barrie’s 38 points from the 166 goals scored by Avs means he was involved in almost every fourth goal, while trying to prevent the opponents from scoring. Hockey reference has a stat called Point share. They describe it as “An estimated number of points contributed by a player”. I do not know how they actually define it, as it is not explained further. Point share is divided to offensive and defensive shares.

It’s interesting here to see Tyson Barrie as the second in the list of offensive point shares, only behind the teams’ leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon. In the department of defensive point shares Barrie stands at fourth place, again just behind MacKinnon.

While Barrie has an awful +/- of -34, he still has an even 50 corsi% and is on the positive side of relative corsi%.

It could turn out bad if a team last in goals scored and last in goals allowed, would trade one of their best defenseman, who is also one of their best points producer.

Barrie is Not the Problem

It can easily be said as a conclusion, that Barrie puts in some effort and production for his paycheck. While he may be overpaid at his $5.5M yearly cap hit, you just don’t find too many players with his skill set.

I have been one who just can not seem to decide if it would be for the best to trade him or keep him. Now I stand with keeping him.

GM Joe Sakic should be working on getting a stay-at-home defenseman to play with Barrie on the second pairing. This would take some defensive pressure off Barries’ shoulders and let him do what he does best: produce offensively.

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Here is what the Hockey News has to say:

"Has good instincts from the back end and plenty of mobility, plus excellent offensive ability and a good point shot. Is a huge asset as a quarterback on a power play at the NHL level. Lacks ideal size for the blueline position at the NHL level. Needs to add some bulk to be able to better defend against bigger forwards (and cope with injuries). Is not physical. Career potential: Excellent offensive defenseman and playmaker."

One just can not let an asset like this go, at least without a truly great return, which is not going to happen at this point.

If Tyson Barrie has a great season, while rest of the team still keeps plummeting, then trade him when his value is high and there is no saving the team in that state. For now, the Colorado Avalanche may be plummeting, but Barrie had a bad year for his standards, as did the whole team. Therefore he does not currently possess the high value expected from a talented right handed offensive defenseman.