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Insider Says One Scenario Where Tyson Barrie Re-Signs with Oilers

Pierre LeBrun believes there’s still a scenario where the Edmonton Oilers and Tyson Barrie work out an extension.

Ask most insiders and they’ll tell you that Tyson Barrie is likely not coming back to the Edmonton Oilers. After a season where he played his cards exactly right, Barrie led all defenseman in points during the regular season with 48 and he accomplished just what he wanted to: he put himself in a good situation and upped his production. The idea was that by doing so, he would attract offers from teams looking to pay more than what he was being offered this past offseason.

It probably worked.

Related: Oilers Have $30 Million Set Aside For Nugent-Hopkins Deal

Barrie will get offers. But, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, those offers might not be plentiful and they might not be for a whole lot more than the Oilers are potentially willing to throw out there. As such, LeBrun believes there’s a chance Barrie revisits the idea of signing in Edmonton, assuming GM Ken Holland gives him anything close to a deal he can live with.

Essentially, LeBrun says if the Oilers offer up a three-year extension in the neighbourhood of $4.5-$5 million, Barrie might take it. It would be a commitment from the team — one much higher than the one-year $3.75 million he got last year — and it would solve his potential issue of trying to find a better deal in a flat-cap NHL marketplace where there are still “consistent concerns over his defensive game”. Despite his offensive production, the player still has warts in his game and a financial bonanza is probably not forthcoming.

LeBrun writes:

“If the Oilers are willing to do a three-year deal worth between $4.5 million and $5 million a season, and I’m not saying they are, but let’s say they offer that: If I’m Barrie, I sign it. Sure, there could be another million a year elsewhere, and that’s something, but the “fit” is best in Edmonton. Just my two cents.”

What About Evan Bouchard?

The question the Oilers will have to ask is what number they feel comfortable with to bring Barrie back. If they’ve pegged it at $4.5 million and they still feel that gives them a chance to play right-shot, young prospect Evan Bouchard, perhaps the Oilers do it. But, if Barrie wants more and the Oilers believe employing him at a high number cuts into their ability to help Bouchard progress, re-signing Barrie is a mistake.

For the right AAV, Barrie is a luxury the Oilers would love to have access to. At the wrong number, he’s a hindrance that requires attention for all the wrong reasons. Edmonton can’t afford to stunt Bouchard’s growth, even if Barrie’s number comes in at something less than a team like Seattle might offer. Bouchard is ready.

As Allan Mitchell of The Athletic points out, “If he gets 15-plus minutes a night and plays 82 games next season, a reasonable estimate of his point total is 35 points. If he gets more playing time, especially on the power play, we could see Bouchard push past 40 points in his first full NHL season.” Mitchell adds that the Oilers have access to the most substantial puck-moving defenseman to be drafted by Edmonton since Paul Coffey, and they have him at the price tag of $863K.

It’s no wonder the Oilers aren’t willing to back the Brinks truck up for Barrie.

Next: Detroit Red Wings Rumored to Be Looking for Goaltender

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