The Toronto Maple Leafs have some players entering free agency during the offseason.
The Toronto Maple Leafs entered this season with multiple up and coming UFA’s and RFA’s. Some re-signed with the team, and others have yet too.
Muzzin, Holl, and Marincin have re-signed with the team, while Dermott, Gauthier, Barrie, and Ceci have yet to put the ink to the paper, if they all or at least some tend to re-sign with the Maple Leafs.
Today I’ll be talking about what the Toronto Maple Leafs should do with Tyson Barrie in the offseason.
Tyson Barrie’s 2019-20 Season
Whether you’re a Tyson Barrie hater or not, he is an excellent player.
Before people start bashing him, he wasn’t brought in to be a defensive minded defensemen that can shut down all the top guys on the opposing teams.
He is and always will be an offensive defensemen and he did that with the Toronto Maple Leafs this year… well under Keefe he did that, under Babcock it was a nightmare trying to turn him into a defensive defensemen.
2019-20 stats – GP 70 – 5G – 34A – 39 PTS – TOI 21:52 (naturalstattrick.com).
As a defensemen putting up 39 points (basically 40 points) is great, but Barrie is used to this already as he has had multiple seasons over 39 points. With this being his ninth season in the NHL he has hit the 30 point total in every season besides his first two years in the league, as well as hitting the 50 point mark three times.
Focusing on this years Tyson Barrie he was put in a position to play a different style of game as he is used too, and that didn’t work out for him or the team. Former coach Mike Babcock wanted to put Barrie in a shutdown role and as an offensive defensemen it really didn’t make sense.
Under 21 games with Babcock, Barrie only put up seven points but under Keefe, Barrie broke out in a good way allowing him to join the rush 24/7 and play how he is used to play. Putting up 32 points in 49 games. (Stats from NHL.com)
Does it Make Sense to Keep Barrie?
Question is, does it make sense for the Toronto Maple Leafs to try and keep Tyson Barrie? I’m going to go ahead and say no. It’s not that I don’t like Barrie, like I said he is an excellent offensive defensemen that will make $6.5M + on the open market, however he is not what the team needs heading into the 2020-21 season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs need to try and pursue a right handed defensemen that can play the right side and can play a defensive game unlike Tyson Barrie who was all offensive minded.
If the Toronto Maple Leafs let Barrie walk and try and target a right handed defensemen who is defensive minded it wont be a problem for multiple reasons. First reason is that they would solve their right side by getting a defensemen like that, their right side is weak to begin with and with Ceci and Barrie set to walk all they have on the right side that plays on the right side is Holl, and he is paired with Muzzin. The team needs someone else to play with Rielly.
Second reason is that the team already has some offensive minded/2-way defensemen on the team so they really don’t need another one. All in all bringing in a defensemen who can play the shut down role on the right side will be a bonus for the team and the back end.
Then again with Tyson Barrie gone from the team they lose an excellent offensive defensemen. They don’t have one of those on the right side they have a couple on the left side already but like I said the right side is very weak to begin with.
The Toronto Maple Leafs D Core so far for Next Season
Taking a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs defense here is who they have signed through next season…
Morgan Rielly – $5M
Jake Muzzin – $5.625M
Justin Holl – $2M
Calle Rosen – $700K
Martin Marincin – $750K
Rasmus Sadin – ELC $894K
(Stats from CapFriendly.com)
The following players are set to become RFA’s & UFA’s… Travis Dermott, Cody Ceci, and Tyson Barrie, and by the looks of it the only player that they would try and re-sign would be Travis Dermott and end up letting Cody Ceci and Tyson Barrie walk in free agency.
Long story short by looking at the following six defensemen I listed, only four will be full timers in my opinion (Rielly, Muzzin, Holl, Sandin).
Liljegren could potentially get a full time spot if the Leafs don’t go out and trade for, or sign a defensemen in free agency, unless they play Marincin instead… you know what they probably will do that.
As well if they re-sign Dermott he will be their sixth defensemen (not saying he will literally be the sixth defensemen on the pairing, just saying he’s the sixth defensemen out of the other five I was talking about), but I strongly think that they should target a top pairing or a top 4D to play with Morgan Rielly next season.