The conversations regarding defenseman Tyson Barrie are only just beginning. Now the league-leader in scoring among defensemen, some are harping on the player because he’s getting a lot of second assists and power play points, but it’s hard to deny that his 28 points in 32 games — along with some improved defensive play — isn’t everything and more than the Oilers could have asked for when the signed him in the offseason.
In fact, he’s been such a good fit, Hockey Central analyst Kevin Bieksa says the blueliner should do “whatever it takes” to stay with the Oilers. His chemistry in Edmonton is off the charts and the situation is so perfect, Bieksa argues Barrie would be crazy to want to go elsewhere and that the first time the Oilers ask him to extend, the defenseman should jump at the chance.
Bieksa used former Vancouver Canucks forward Anson Carter as an example of what can happen when you take better money and go to a place where the fit isn’t as good. Carter scored 33 goals with the Sedins one year, took more money from the Columbus Blue Jackets the next season and was out of the NHL in a year. Bieksa noted, had Carter taken a little less money, he might have prolonged his NHL career by another three years.
When it comes to Barrie, Bieksa said:
“When you’re a free agent, you gotta find a team that’s a good fit for you. … You look at it with Barrie, it’s just a good fit. The way he plays, he likes to handle the puck, he likes to be offensive, jump in the play, he’s good on the power play, he’s a right hand shot, which is also important for McDavid and Draisailt. He checks a lot of the boxes, he’s having a lot of success.”
Take the Offer and Say Thanks
Bieksa added that if he were Barrie, he would be doing whatever he could to stay in Edmonton. “I’m signing an extension right now, first ask.” He says if Edmonton offers a three-year $5 or $6 million deal, he should take it, not argue and be ready for next season. “Stay there, stay where you got a good thing going,” he adds.
What do you think Barrie will do? If he keeps up his production, surely another team will come with a big money offer. But, is Barrie ever going to have the same kind of success like he’s having in Edmonton? This could be a defenseman who scores 50 points in a 56-game season. It would help the Oilers if Barrie sees how mutually beneficial it could be for both sides to work out a team-friendly deal.
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