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Penguins’ Trade Options if Letang Leaves: Tyson Barrie

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Pittsburgh Penguins trade talk, NHL trade potential Tyson Barrie

What if the Pittsburgh Penguins do not sign Kris Letang? The UFA market is weak. The Penguins don’t have a prospect ready to step into a more prominent role on the right side. So, the NHL trade block would seem to be the only source of replenishment.

This week the chatter exploded in Edmonton. Everyone but the big two was on the NHL trade block for a moment. However, one name that sticks out because Edmonton will have to move salary and has a young defenseman ready for more responsibility is right-side defenseman Tyson Barrie.

Elliotte Friedman first put Barrie’s name on the NHL trade market this week on the Jeff Marek show when he and Marek discussed Barrie becoming available. Marek immediately jumped to the Montreal Canadiens because their top RHD, Jeff Petry, is heavily rumored to be on the trade block (and widely speculated to be a potential replacement should Letang leave).

“I do think the Oilers are going to have to move cap space,” said Friedman on the show. “I think one of the guys we’re going to be watching is going to be Tyson Barrie. It’s been a real merry-go-round since Colorado.”

So, Marek felt Barrie would be a stop-gap in Montreal if they deal Petry. Perhaps the Pittsburgh Penguins should take the shorter route, go straight to Barrie, and use the monetary savings (and probably less expensive acquisition costs) to their advantage.

Also, count this keyboard as one who believes Barrie in a good situation could be better than Petry.

Barrie would fit the Penguins’ style very well, and his salary would offer healthy savings over other options, including nearly $3 million less than Letang’s most recent AAV.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old defenseman was a top-two pairing guy with the Colorado Avalanche for five-plus seasons before he was traded to the chaotic Toronto Maple Leafs three seasons ago. A down year with Toronto and two uneven seasons with the Edmonton Oilers puts Barrie on the block.

Tyson Barrie knows how to put up points and can play big minutes. Until this season, Barrie did not average below 21 minutes since his first full NHL season in 2013-14. However, this year, he played just 18 minutes per game.

Evan Bouchard is ready to supplant Barrie on the Edmonton blue line, which gives GM Ken Holland a trade chip, and Penguins GM Ron Hextall could do far worse than having Barrie lined up in case Letang seeks greener pastures.

Last season Barrie was among the leaders in defensemen scoring with 48 points (8-40-48) in the 56-game season. This season, with reduced minutes, Barrie fell to 41 points in 73 games.

He still runs a mean power play (37 PP assists over the last two seasons), can skate, distribute the puck and finish his chances. Without Letang, the Penguins will desperately need a second defenseman who can put the puck in the net. As we noted previously, after Letang and Mike Matheson, the Penguins’ defensemen combined for just 11 goals.

At 31, Barrie’s best days are not behind him, and he will have two more years left on his contract. Barrie would be a nice option and probably mesh well with Brian Dumoulin.

Editor’s Note: The original draft was quickly corrected to note Barrie has two years remaining on his contract.

Barrie’s defensive zone coverage is a bit looser than Letang’s, but Barrie also makes significantly fewer turnovers. In four of the last five seasons, Barrie has averaged only 41 turnovers. 2020-21 was an outlier with 62 giveaways.

In those same four seasons, Letang averaged 81 turnovers.

The NHL trade prices are still being set, but at the 2022 NHL trade deadline, Nick Leddy was dealt from the Detroit Red Wings to St. Louis Blues for a depth defenseman, fourth-line forward Oskar Sundqvist, and a second-round pick.

Barrie probably costs a bit more than Leddy, but a few other defensemen, including 37-year-old Mark Giordano, were dealt and almost all included a second-round pick. (Vancouver dealt Travis Hamonic to Ottawa for only a third-rounder. Giordano and Colin Blackwell fetched two second-rounders and a third).

So, the going rate for Barrie probably includes a second-round pick, and at least one more piece, probably something of value such as a legit prospect or a player Ken Holland feels his team needs.

The cost will be about the same for Jeff Petry, but Barrie has more offensive upside and goal-scoring ability. Keep your eyes on Tyson Barrie as the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Kris Letang negotiations unfold.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Tom Haley
Tom Haley
20 days ago

What is the deal with Geno & Tanger? They say they want to stay, they were offered a deal, obviously turned it down. So how bad do they want to stay? They are not stupid! There is a salary cap. The more the Pens spend on them, the less they have to spend on the rest of the free agents!
The Pens were close to beating the Rangers, the Rangers are still in it! Figure what piece or pieces we need to strengthen and make another run!!!

Crosby32746@yahoo.com
Crosby32746@yahoo.com
20 days ago
Reply to  Tom Haley

We should move on and use the money to get 5 good players!

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
20 days ago
Reply to  Tom Haley

That’s why they’re called contract negotiations.

Crosby32746@yahoo.com
Crosby32746@yahoo.com
20 days ago

This discussion is just dumb! Barrie is not an option!

Bachinga
Bachinga
19 days ago

Shhhhh…you’re upsetting the “residents”

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
20 days ago

This might be worth exploring whether Letang stays or goes.

Paula
Paula
20 days ago

Toronto and Pittsburgh fan. Saw enough of Barrie to recommend a hard pass. Absolute disaster in Toronto. Spend the money on anyone else.

Chris R
Chris R
20 days ago

Barrie seems like an awesome guy, but no. The Knights are going to be making some changes. Why not inquire about Shea Theodore?

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[…] writer Dan Kingerski observed, the 683-game NHL veteran would bring somewhat affordable qualities to the Penguins. The same could […]

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[…] Edmonton Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie is suddenly a hot name on the NHL trade rumour wire and the Pittsburgh Penguins could be a […]

Mary L
Mary L
20 days ago

I think the Letang and Malkin deals are already done, they just need to move a contract to make everything work cap wise. I have a feeling Hexy has a deal planned that will take place on draft day, so until that gets finalized – the extensions will be hush-hush.

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[…] Could Tyson Barrie of the Edmonton Oilers be a trade target of the Pittsburgh Pengins if Kris Letang opts to leave via free […]

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[…] Hockey Now: If Kris Letang leaves, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be out looking. Tyson […]

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[…] trade market is the most likely option. Besides Jeff Petry, who else is there? Tyson Barrie. The Pittsburgh Penguins trade […]

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[…] trade market is the most likely option. Besides Jeff Petry, who else is there? Tyson Barrie. The Pittsburgh Penguins trade […]

Bachinga
Bachinga
19 days ago

Uh…no…

J Lami
J Lami
19 days ago

Letang should be first stop get him signed 7-7.5 mil 4-5 years no brainier!
Then low ball Malkin 5 mil 3 years if he stays good if not thanks and good bye we can move on from Geno but not Letang.
Trade one of Marino or Pettersson
and replace with a solid d-man for less cap hit if possible that will definitely leave us with enough room to fill in the blanks.
Even move on from Zucker if we can find someone willing to do business.
Still good team here a few good moves away no problem

ric Jefferies
ric Jefferies
18 days ago

Odd to me when we talk about Defensemen we recite how many goals they score mostly, instead of how many goals they prevent. Goalies we count the exact number of stops they make and rarely if ever we credit the Netminder for initiating a counter attack, which happens frequently. I think its because its hard to quantify for most of us. The game moves so fast north, south, east, west hard to keep track of. To me this is best part of the game, the subtlety. Yes, Letang with the puck is dangerous to the opposition I just wish he… Read more »

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for Kris Letang if he departs this summer via free […]

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for Kris Letang if he departs this summer via […]

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for Kris Letang if he departs this summer via free […]

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for Kris Letang if he departs this summer via free […]

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski from Pittsburgh hockey now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for kris letang if he leaves this summer through free […]

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for Kris Letang if he departs this summer via free […]

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[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins could have to research the defenseman market if pending UFA and right-handed defenseman Kris Letang indicators elsewhere. […]

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[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins may have to investigate the defenseman market if pending UFA and right-handed defenseman Kris Letang signs elsewhere. […]

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[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins may have to investigate the defenseman market if pending UFA and right-handed defenseman Kris Letang signs elsewhere. […]

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[…] a great fit, there are a few teams that are said to be potentially interested. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that Barrie could be a replacement for Kris Letang if he departs this summer via […]

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[…] Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins may have to investigate the defenseman market if pending UFA and right-handed defenseman Kris Letang signs elsewhere. […]

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[…] Letang. There aren’t any equal replacements. We’ve circled Jeff Petry and Tyson Barrie on the NHL trade block. Both are a step back, but there are financial limits to re-signing a 35-year-old defenseman, […]

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