Colorado Avalanche Trade Review Tyson Barrie for Nazem Kadri

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 9: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie #94 returns to the locker room after the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Scotiabank Arena on November 9, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 9: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie #94 returns to the locker room after the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Scotiabank Arena on November 9, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) /

As the Colorado Avalanche host the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nazem Kadri and Tyson Barrie will be facing their former teams for the first time.

Former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie is back in town, and that’s all anyone can talk about. So, let’s talk about it here, too.

Both Avs insider Adrian Dater and Ryan S. Clark at The Athletic wrote moving pieces about Tyson Barrie the person. I never met him, but according to those who did, he was a genuinely nice man. (Still is — according to Dater he signed every autograph requested today at Maple Leafs practice.)

I’m not going to be sentimental. Instead, at the roughly quarter-season point of the year, let’s do a review of what each team got. Let’s examine how each piece is working for its respective team.

The two draft picks are a wash. Yes, a third-rounder is much better than a sixth-rounder, but Colorado can’t develop either one, so what difference does it make?

The Avalanche also retained half of Tyson Barrie’s salary because the Leafs could never afford him otherwise. Colorado has no salary cap issues.

Tyson Barrie

More from Mile High Sticking

The centerpiece of the trade, at least in terms of what Toronto got, was offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie. In his eight seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, six of them full seasons, he recorded 10+ goals in five of them. He had three 50+ point seasons and an additional 40+ point season.

To say his transition to Toronto was a difficult is putting it mildly. Under coach Mike Babcock, he got little power play time, and the coach tried to reinvent Barrie’s game. In 23 games, he had only seven assists.

Well, Babcock got fired, Barrie got put on the power play, and he scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf. It wasn’t a power play goal, but obviously he was allowed to play the game that made him the centerpiece of the trade for Toronto.

Nazem Kadri

Center Nazem Kadri was the centerpiece of the trade for the Avalanche. They needed a second-line center, especially one who could bring fire and grit — if that’s not Kadri in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.

Kadri spent nine seasons (and a single game), seven of them full seasons, with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was a 30+ goal scorer twice. He hit 50+ points twice with another 60+ point year.

He was playing third line minutes, and it was thought that he’d get back to his scoring ways if he got bumped back up to the second line. But that would have to be on a team that didn’t have Auston Matthews and John Tavares down the middle.

Kadri is as promised here in Colorado. In 22 games, he’s recorded seven goals and eight assists for 15 points. That puts him on pace for 55 points. What’s more, he’s a wizard in the faceoff circle, having won 55.65% of his draws.

So, if you look at the one-for-one aspect of the trade, Colorado definitely won. We got exactly what we needed, while the Leafs inexplicably tried to put the round peg of Barrie into a square hole.

However, the caveat there is that Barrie may well thrive under this new coach. Then the trade will be a lot more even. Plus, there were two more components involved in the trade.

Alexander Kerfoot

Since the Colorado Avalanche were retaining half of Barrie’s salary, I’m not sure why they had to include center Alexander Kerfoot in the deal. However, he traveled to Toronto with Barrie.

Well, if Barrie didn’t deliver as promised, it appears Kerfoot did to a point. He’s their new third-line center. He’s not Kadri obviously or we would have just kept him. However, he’s doing ok for a third-liner — eight points in 21 games. His faceoff wins are only at 47.87%.

And he doesn’t shoot any more in Toronto than he did here — just 37 shots so far.

Calle Rosen

Defenseman Calle Rosen was another part of the trade, and I don’t understand why we acquired him. We’d already traded defenseman Carl Soderberg for defenseman Kevin Connauton, whom we also didn’t need.

And, sure enough, despite a decent preseason, Rosen is currently residing in Loveland. He’s doing very well with the Eagles — eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 11 games. However, why trade a legit NHLer like Kerfoot to augment the Eagles?

Toronto definitely got the advantage in this part of the trade.

Final Thoughts

Hockey is a business. I’m not going to pretend I live by that credo because when my favorite players get traded, I’m shattered. But the Colorado Avalanche got exactly what they needed — and some icing? — by dealing a player who’d become redundant in his skill set.

Tyson Barrie currently holds Avalanche records as an offensive defenseman. Cale Makar will crush them. No shade on Barrie, but Makar is scoring at a pace not seen in 100 years in a rookie defenseman. Literally.

That said, Barrie nonetheless left his mark on the team and big time within the fandom. Heck, he even left his mark on Dater.

Pondering Kadri's Adjustment. dark. Next

He’s going to get a moving tribute tomorrow night, and I’m glad for him. But after that, it’s business as usual for me. I want the Colorado Avalanche to win, even at Tyson Barrie’s expense.

I’m looking forward to celebrating his letting the puck fly past him on the power play. I am not looking forward to his eventual goal on us. But that’s the game.