The Blackhawks don’t really need another offensive minded defenseman with Seth Jones ready to go for quite a few more years, but if Tyson Barrie is as cheap as I think he’s going to be to bring in, he’d be a smart pickup. The 31 year old would bring a veteran presence to the Hawks dressing room as he has been loved everywhere he goes, while being a top 4 defender the team can look to as a secondary offensive option on the blue line.
The 5’11, 197 pound Victoria native is coming off of a 7 goal, 34 assist for 41 point season through 73 games with the Edmonton Oilers last season. With 683 games under his belt, Barrie would only add to the Hawks goal of creating a new culture in their organization as a veteran who’s been around the game for a while, and knows what it takes to win. With the Leafs, Oilers and Avalanche, Barrie was always a fan favourite off the ice, constantly showcasing his life away from the rink.
On the ice, it was a little different. Barrie has often been criticised for his weak defensive play, and being a “secondary assist merchant” as he plays with the most lethal power play unit on the planet. He was still able to put up a decent amount of points last year, but had 7 less points in 17 more games than his previous season.
Acquiring Barrie would likely cost a 2nd Round Pick and a depth player, which I wouldn’t mind. High risk, high reward, and if he doesn’t pan out he can likely be traded as a rental option. Alex Vlasic may lose out on his opportunity to prove himself more with Barrie being brought in, but I’m okay letting Vlasic sit in the minors and get some playing time for a little longer.