EDMONTON — Defenceman Tyson Barrie didn’t like the start to his one and only season in Toronto– and wants to ensure that doesn’t happen in Edmonton.
“I think a bit of the issue was…that start I had in Toronto and just getting behind the eight-ball…You’re kind of always just clawing back to win the fans over or whatever it is,” said Barrie.
The 29-year-old spent the 2019-20 season with Toronto Maple Leafs after being acquired in a deal that sent Nazem Kadri to Colorado.
Barrie struggled with the Leafs and the team let him walk as an unrestricted agent before he signed a one-year deal with Edmonton, with the Oilers bringing him in as a replacement for Oscar Klefbom who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
Klefbom was the team’s top defenceman and anchored the NHL’s top power-play last season. Barrie comes in with 98 power play points over the last five seasons.
“I’m a big fans of his…I have high expectations for him. I think he’ll come in, he’ll give our power play a little different look with the right-shot,” said Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett.
Over his nine NHL seasons Barrie gained a reputation for joining the rush and contributing offensively. But the power play is where he really excels.
“That’s a big aspect of my game…but then also five on five. Getting these guys the puck. Jumping in the play. Creating some chances and being reliable defensively as well,” said Barrie in his first media conference of Oilers’ training camp.
Scoring goals isn’t an issue for the team but how much they gave up last season certainly is. The team hopes Barrie is part of the solution as the Oilers learn to make due without Klefbom.
“It’s definitely a challenge that we’re all looking forward to taking on,” said Darnell Nurse.
The Oilers shift training camp from NAIT arena to Rogers Place on Thursday. They open the NHL regular season against Vancouver on January 13th.
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