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Friedman on Tyson Barrie: “I think there is an understanding that so far it hasn’t worked”

On last night’s edition of Saturday Headlines, among a wealth of other Leafs-related discussions, Elliotte Friedman reported that the team have received trade inquiries on Tyson Barrie.

The other name that’s come up a lot this week is Tyson Barrie. There’s been a lot of chatter around him. He has not asked for a trade, however, I think there’s an understanding that so far it hasn’t worked, that this is a very important year for him because he’s a free agent, and I think we all recoginize how we would feel about that.

I’m hearing Toronto has recieved calls on him and so far they’ve rejected the idea and they don’t want to trade him. But there is interest and because Colorado is retaining half of his salary, he’s at $2.75 million. We’ll see where it goes over the next month, but I do think there’s a recognition that this can’t continue for him.

Barrie was brought in over the off-season to give Toronto a second offensive punch from the blueline behind Morgan Reilly. That hasn’t happened so far. Through 22 games, Barrie has just six assists and he has yet to score a goal. He’s currently on pace to put up just 22 points this season, which is substantially lower than the 59 and 57 points he put up in his last two seasons in Colorado.

The big issue for Barrie is his lack of power-play opportunity. Last season, he quarterbacked a good power-play in Colorado and posted 25 of his 59 points with the man advantage. Barrie averaged four minutes of power-play ice time per game along with Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog. This year, he’s eighth on the Leafs in average power-play time, playing just two minutes with the man advantage per game.

As Friedman states, this is a huge year for Barrie individually. He’s 28 years old and is set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career. He inked his current deal back in July of 2016, which was worth $22 million over four years. Given his major offensive production in Colorado, Barrie was looking at a big payday this upcoming off-season, but if things continue going the way they are, he’s less and less likely to get it.

It wouldn’t make much sense for the Leafs to deal Barrie right now, as his value is most certainly at its lowest point. There’s still a long way to go this season, but if things don’t turn around, we’re going to start hearing about the possibility of the Leafs dealing Barrie prior to the trade deadline in order to recoup some draft assets. The Leafs currently don’t have their first-round pick this year because of the Patrick Marleau salary cap dump deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Again, there’s still plenty of time, but it’s something to think about.

Barrie seems to be yet another example of a player that fits Kyle Dubas’ philosophy that isn’t working with Mike Babcock’s plan. Perhaps a change behind the bench could make a world of difference for Barrie and others on the team.