Colorado Avalanche: Reaction to the Tyson Barrie Trade

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 8: Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche battles against Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on October 8, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Avalanche defeated the Leafs 2-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 8: Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche battles against Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on October 8, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Avalanche defeated the Leafs 2-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche made a big splash on free agency day — in the form of a trade. Tyson Barrie is going to Toronto, and Nazem Kadri is coming to Colorado.

The Colorado Avalanche finally pulled the trigger on the Tyson Barrie trade, and as always happens when the Avs make a big move, I didn’t like it. What can I say, it’s my MO.

Now that the dust has settled, we can look deeper into the trade, examine all the moving pieces. We can also make a more informed decision. I may still not like it, but such is a hockey trade.

Here’s the trade:

Colorado will retain half of Barrie’s salary.

Tyson Barrie

The Colorado Avalanche selected Tyson Barrie in the third round of 2009. He struggled at first to make it onto the team, but he broke into the NHL properly during the 2013-14 season.

Barrie quickly established himself as an offensive defenseman. During his tenure as an Av, he had three 50+ point seasons — including one 59-pointer — and another close one, a 49-point season. He became our prime quarterback on the power play.

We often had a love-hate relationship with Barrie. We loved him when he was scoring and creating offense. We hated him when he was flubbing defensive assignments.

Last season, Barrie started breaking records. He ended up finishing with the franchise record for most points by a defenseman in his career.

Barrie had one year left on a contract with a $5.5 million cap hit.

Alexander Kerfoot

Forward Alexander Kerfoot is the add-in to the trade, the pot sweetener, if you will. Colorado acquired Kerfoot in the summer of 2017. He was a college free agent after having completed four years at Harvard.

Kerfoot finished fifth on the Avs in scoring his rookie year with 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists). He finished sixth this last season with 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists).

Kerfoot quickly established himself as one of the youngsters to watch. He quietly outpaced the bigger names on the rookie list that year, J.T. Compher and Tyson Jost. Indeed, those two players served as his roomates both seasons.

Kerfoot is a pending restricted free agent. He carried a cap hit of $925,000. It’s thought he’ll file for salary arbitration to garner a decent raise.

Nazem Kadri

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted center Nazem Kadri with the seventh-overall pick of 2009. He signed his entry-level contract the following year.

At 28 years old, the 6-foot, 192 center has played 561 games, all for the Leafs. He’s recorded 357 points (161 goals, 196 assists).

This last season was a down one for Kadri. The Leafs had acquired John Tavares, which resulted in a cut in Kadri’s playing time. He recorded 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists). Prior to that, he recorded back-to-back 32-goal seasons.

Kadri is scouted as having soft hands and offensive flair. He makes creative plays. He’s also known for being an agitator — he can be quite a polarizing player in that regard.

Nazem Kadri is of Lebanese descent. He’s one of the few Muslim players in the NHL.

Kadri has three years left on a contract that carries a $4.5 million cap hit.

Calle Rosen

Calle Rosen is a Swedish defenseman who went undrafted. He signed an entry-level contract with the Leafs in 2017. He then signed an extension for a standard two-year in December 2018.

Rosen has primarily been an AHLer. The 25-year-old LHD has just 8 NHL games, recording 1 goal and 1 assist. At 6-foot, 187 pounds, he doesn’t add a lot of size.

That said, Rosen is scouted as a puck-moving defenseman with some offensive ability. In the AHL, he’s been more prolific — 68 points (11 goals, 57 assists) in 116 games.

Rosen has two years left on his standard contract with a cap hit of $750,000.

Analysis of the Trade

As noted, the two teams also traded 2020 draft picks. Colorado got a third-rounder, and Toronto got a sixth-rounder. To be honest, I wish the Colorado Avalanche had gotten a first or even second rounder.

In all, I’m still not a huge fan of this trade. I was hoping we’d get a similar return for Barrie as we got for Matt Duchene. Alas, offensive defensemen traded cheaply this offseason.

GM Joe Sakic said of the trade:

"“With the arrival and emergence of Samuel Girard and Cale Makar, as well as the recent draft pick of Bowen Byram, we felt it was time to move in this direction with Tyson’s contract expiring next summer.”"

Well, that makes sense. The Colorado Avalanche blueline, once our Achilles heel, is fast becoming our crown jewel.

That said, the Avs traded two bona fide NHLers for one. Colorado traded to fill a need — the second-line center position. And they paid a high price.

I also hope Kadri’s acquisition is to augment the second line and Tyson Jost’s production, not replace it.

Well, anyway, I’m sorry to see Tyson Barrie go. He’s a fan favorite, and there are a lot of emotional Avs fans right now. T-Brat had his weaknesses, but he shined brightly when he was on.

Au revoir to Alexander Kerfoot, too. I think he added value to the team. And he certainly added “roomie chem” with Jost and Compher.

Next. Evaluating the Qualifying RFA Offers. dark

I suspect the Colorado Avalanche are done with their big moves for now. It’s time for them to start filling the coffers of the AHL. In the end, with the acquisitions and trades, we have a more balanced team.