Really? Could the Oilers actually put out a big d-man and a power play ace?

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Edmonton Oilers Review 2021-22

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Tyson Barry

Tyson Barrie is a valuable player for the Edmonton Oilers, a right-shooting d-man who shoots and passes the puck well and has matured into a decent defender.

He’s an NHL power play ace.

He played the best two-way hockey of his career in the playoffs. Indeed, he was a playoff hero, culminating in his key role in two of the Edmonton Oilers’ most crucial goals this year.

He talked about getting better on defense this year and he did, reducing his number of big and stale mistakes.

He is reportedly popular with his teammates.

He has good to excellent value on his contract, which has two more years left at $4.5 million a year.

For all that, Barrie’s name has repeatedly cropped up in trade rumors. for example in face to face daily.com, NHL insider Frank Seravalli has Barrie listed as the NHL’s eighth top trade target, noting, “The Oilers aren’t disappointed in Barrie, but they’re going to need to create salary-cap flexibility if they’re going to run on Evander Kane’s re-file. Slipping Barrie, an elite power play facilitator, elsewhere would be one way of trying to accomplish that.”

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Tyson Barrie, it seems, is a player the Edmonton Oilers could very well trade for.

Really?

Yes.

Really?

Safely.

Seravalli has this right.

In fact, I’m predicting right now that the Oilers will move to the 30-year-old Barrie this summer.

And if the Oilers get the right assets back in a trade, I also predict it will be a good move for Edmonton, even if Barrie will be missed here.

The driver of such a trade will be a simple calculation: For everything Barrie gives the Edmonton Oilers, he has even more value to 10 to 15 other NHL teams.

Why is Barrie a trap for other teams?

First off, he’s a right-shooting d-man who can move the puck well with equal force. Not every team has one of those players, but every team needs at least one of them.

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Edmonton has two or three, with Barrie and Evan Bouchard definitely in that category and Cody Ceci, their top d-man partner in right shooting, not far behind in the passing category, at least by NHL average, probably because above average.

As far as uniform strength point scoring goes, Barrie ranked 97th overall for NHL regular d-men last season. He was clustered there at about 1.0 points per 60 minutes of even-strength play, in a virtual tie with other Oilers defensemen Ceci, Darnell Nurse and Duncan Keith. Evan Bouchard led the Oilers d-men and ranked 18th overall in the NHL, with 1.55 points per 60.

Barrie’s playmaking ability carries over to the power play, where he was Edmonton’s top power play quarterback for the second year in a row, with Edmonton having the best power play in the NHL last year and the third better this year. Only 11 other NHL d-men had more power play points per minute than Barrie in 2021-22, only elite attackers like Adam Fox, Roman Josi, Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Torey Krug and Tony DeAngelo beat the highly productive Barry.

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On the power play, Barrie has a strong shot, improvises well, passes cleanly to set up one-shots and makes good decisions with the puck. He was a good to excellent power play quarterback.

Barrie had 6.04 points per 60 minutes of power play this season, with student Bouchard posting 3.91 points per 60 and Darnell Nurse posting 4.36 points per 60.

On defense as recently as last season, Barrie was something of a train wreck. Too often, he made poor, risky decisions in the emergency position on the offensive blue line or in the neutral zone. When he guessed wrong, and he did too often, the other team ended up with a 3v2, 2v1, or break attack.

In 2020-21, he made seven such errors that ended as Grade A shots against the Oilers at even strength. But last season, 2021-22, he made just two bad pinches that led to Grade A shots, a fact we at Cult of Hockey got from our diligent and thorough review of all Grade A shots for and against. of the Oilers.

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Overall, Barrie lowered his rate of major errors that contributed significantly to Grade A shots against the same force. That happened, in part, because he played against less difficult competition. as he was no longer matched up against the NHL’s best in the best oil matchup as often as he had been in 2020-21. But part of Barrie’s improved game was also his better reads and decisions.

At age 30, he seemed to have finally figured out how to play a safer, smarter and more fundamentally sound defensive game, and his best hockey of all came in the playoffs, where he was Oil’s strongest d-man when it came to creating. Grade A shots instead of letting them happen against his Oilers. Once again, Barrie didn’t play as much against the tougher competition, as the likes of Cody Ceci, Darnell Nurse and Duncan Keith did, but he essentially triumphed against the playoff competition he faced.

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He and the team were rewarded with two big plays from Barrie, the game-winning goal of the third period against Los Angeles in Edmonton’s critical Game 6 victory and with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins taking advantage of the rebound of his slot shot to win the Game. Four against the Calgarys. Calls.

If you now get the feeling that I’m optimistic about Tyson Barrie, that I admire the player and think he can help the Oilers win next season, you’re right.

But that doesn’t stop me from noting the obvious, that in Evan Bouchard and Cody Ceci, the Oil has two right-shooting d-men who are already superior to Barrie in even strength. Bouchard is also more than ready to replace Barrie as the power play quarterback.

Ceci and Bouchard had better plus-minus ratios on Grade A shots with uniform force in the regular season than Barrie.

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And Bouchard made significant contributions to nearly doubling the grade-A shot rate on the power play compared to Barrie.

Looking to the future

In third pair, Barrie is great, but he’s also a luxury at $4.5 million. Some other team desperately in need of a power-playing quarterback and even-strength right-throw puck driver should be very interested in facing him and his contract, and be willing to give up significant value in exchange for acquiring Barry.

Getting him out well could be the key to the Oil trading for a top goalkeeper, or finding the salary-cap space to bring back a top winger like Evander Kane.

As for Barrie’s replacement in the third pair, Philip Broberg is a left-shooting player who can execute on the right side. A third pairing of Broberg and, say, Brett Kulak, wouldn’t be a huge step down from Barrie and Kulak, if a step down at all. Broberg is a much bigger and more mobile player than Barrie. He could become a tight top-drawer d-man in the Top 4, something Barrie will never be, and the kind of player the Oilers desperately need if they’re ever going to get past the Colorado Avs.

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If Edmonton does move Barrie, the team will have less depth on the right side, but the need at net and on the wing is such that the trade is not only acceptable, I see it as inevitable.

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