When the Edmonton Oilers lost defenseman Oscar Klefbom with a shoulder injury for the 2020-21 season, things looked pretty bleak for the team. They were facing an entire season without their power-play quarterback.
Fortunately help came with Oilers’ general manager Ken Holland signed Tyson Barrie on a one-year, $3.75 million contract during the offseason. Like Klefbom, Barrie’s reputation is that he has the potential to be more than an adequate replacement on the team’s top power-play unit.
Why Signing with Oilers Was a No-Brainer for Barrie
During the 2019-20 season, Barrie had what was a poor season for him with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Unlike his usual 60-point seasons, his stat sheet showed that he had only 39 points. But then, in Toronto Barrie wasn’t playing with the Maple Leafs’ number-one power-play unit.
On the other hand, with the Oilers, the possibility of his having a strong season was expanded because he’ll be playing with and likely feeding the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Assisting that high-scoring duo almost assured a bounce-back season for Barrie. From the Oilers’ perspective, they were picking up an upgrade to their defense at a pretty affordable price. This move makes a ton of sense for both sides.
Barrie Has a Great Chance for a Career Season
If all goes well for Barrie, he might even have a career season. He’ll be quarterbacking the Oilers’ first power-play unit and will be part of the Oilers’ starting three-on-three during any overtime period. It’s also likely that head coach Dave Tippett will try to, as often as possible, have Barrie on the ice at the same time as both McDavid and Draisaitl when the team is playing even strength. If so, Barrie will have even more chances to pass the puck to the Oilers’ star players.
Before the season opened, although Tippett reported he hadn’t made up his mind, he noted that, “Barrie, obviously, has high-end offensive skills and will be with them (McDavid and Draisaitl) on the power play. Depends on match-ups, how the game’s going. To say Tyson will play with one line or the other, that’s to be determined.” (from “Edmonton Oilers’ Evan Bouchard back from Sweden and knocking on NHL door,” Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal, 08/01/21).
Yesterday Barrie Talked about Why He Signed with the Oilers
Barrie joined Sportsnet’s the “Good Show” to discuss why he believed signing with the Oilers for the 2020-21 season was a no-brainer. During the interview, Barrie was asked if he had reservations about playing in Canada because of the fans and the media coverage. His answer was that he didn’t. He wasn’t afraid to play in Canada.
When asked what clinched Edmonton as his destination, he said he wanted a good opportunity “to come in and have that opportunity on the power play.” But he then noted that “it just seems like Edmonton was a bit of a no brainer for me with (unfortunately) Klefbom getting hurt for the year.”
The Real Reasons Are McDavid and Draisaitl
Then Barrie hit the nail on the head when he admitted he was drawn to fill “the role that they (the Oilers) needed.” He was clear that “I don’t need to tell you guys about the talent on this team” and added that “Leon and Connor, with the numbers they were putting up last year, … I just thought it would be a good spot for me to come and slide in.”
His final comment was that “obviously we’ve got a good team here that you know people are expecting to start making pushes for cups and win.” That, he noted was what made him “love to be a part of so it.”
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