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Tyson Barrie’s Days in Edmonton Could Be Numbered

Despite an excellent season, Tyson Barrie’s days in Edmonton could be numbered, based solely on his ask and the Oilers having another option.

If you ask Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic (and many readers did) what he thinks about the future of defenseman Tyson Barrie with the Edmonton Oilers, he’ll suggest there are more ways in which Barrie’s exits the Edmonton Oilers roster than sticks around. Despite having a very strong season offensively, the Oilers may choose to let Barrie walk over the summer, going a different direction because they simply have the luxury to do so.

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Granted, all of this can change if Barrie is keen to stick in Edmonton and sign a team-friendly deal again. But, the scribe took some time to answer mailbag questions and many of them centered around what general manager Ken Holland might do when it comes to the offensive defenseman.

When asked if Holland’s recent comments about Evan Bouchard having a big part in the Oilers future plans mean anything, one reader specifically asked if that meant the writing was on the wall for Barrie? Willis responded, “Ideally, Bouchard is filling Barrie’s role — right-handed, offensive defenceman and power-play quarterback — as soon as possible. Having Barrie around blocks Bouchard’s progress.” He went to say that Oscar Klefbom’s health status plays a factor here, but if Klef is healthy and Bouchard is ready to go, “it’s hard to envision Barrie on the roster,” Willis says.

When asked by another reader if the Oilers will focus on Adam Larsson or Barrie, Willis said, “Barrie is an offensive upgrade from Klefbom, but the potential combination of Klefbom returning and Bouchard could end Barrie’s days in Edmonton.”

Tyson Barrie Edmonton Oilers 1
Tyson Barrie Edmonton Oilers 1

Something Has to Give

While Barrie has his haters, it’s hard to argue he’s not come exactly as advertised and better. People will stick to the argument that his second assists and power play points are meaningless and suggest that somehow isn’t relevant when evaluating the player, but they’re simply overlooking how important some of those aspects are to the overall game in the NHL.

At the same time, there’s a price point where Barrie becomes too big a hindrance for the Oilers when you have Bouchard, Ethan Bear, and Adam Larsson all on your roster.

If Barrie sees himself as having a future with the Oilers, his might need to do what he did this summer and understand that the best way to stick with this team and be in an environment that is comfortable is to be flexible. If he’s willing to take $5 million or less on a short-term deal, something could get done. If he’s not, he’s probably a goner.

And honestly… it won’t matter what kind of numbers he puts up between now and the end of the season.

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