As the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches, the Colorado Avalanche is nowhere near where fans expected them to be - especially when you look back at last season. A team that everyone had assumed would start selling before the deadline, now looks like a legitimate playoff contender.
This turns out to be even more surprising since top defenseman Tyson Barrie went down with a broken hand last month and it was assumed that his absence would create a huge hole in the lineup. But the Avs kept winning.
Now that the Avalanche is proving they can be good without Barrie, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman keeps hinting at a possible trade out of Colorado. He explained the situation first in his 31 Thoughts article on Sportsnet, and revisited the possibility with Jeff Marek in his latest podcast, as reported by FanRag Sports:
“The one thing about Barrie is I could see – if I’m the New York Islanders and you need a puck-moving D, is he not a guy you’re looking at right now?”
Marek added: “The Leafs tried to make a move in the summer, did they not?”
“The Leafs have had interest in Tyson Barrie before,” said Friedman. “There’s no question about that. I don’t know if it was this summer or a year ago.
“But I do think there are going to be teams that ask Colorado, ‘What are you doing with Tyson Barrie here.’ “
When Barrie injured himself back on December 23rd, he was trailing only John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars for points by a defenseman. A month later, he sits third in points per game behind Klingberg and San Jose Sharks' Brent Burns.
Now, Barrie is back on skates and is now considered day to day. He should return soon, and Colorado could already be on the phone shopping him, despite his injury.
Barrie, who recorded 27 points in 34 games so far this season, does not have any trade protection included in his four-year, $22 million contract he signed in the summer of 2016.