The Edmonton Oilers land a big Free Agent fish in PP specialist Tyson Barrie

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It’s certainly a “show-me” contract. Barrie and his agent are no doubt betting that a year of quarterbacking a power play with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will help rehabilitate his stat line if not his reputation over-all as a top-flight NHL-er. Then next year, when considerably more cap room is slated to open up in Edmonton, both parties would have the option of re-upping on a longer deal with a richer payday. But at the very worst, it buys prospect Evan Bouchard another season to grow and mature.

Barrie is not a 1st pairing “defender”. His defence, while not a glaring issue, is certainly not his strength. But having the puck in the other guy’s zone is also a pretty good defensive strategy.

The signing does raise some new questions: With both Adam Larsson and Ethan Bear already on the RHS, where does Barrie slot in and what might that mean for the other two?

More to come…

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