Toronto Maple Leafs: Predicting That Tyson Barrie Will Stay

Toronto Maple Leafs - Tyson Barrie (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Tyson Barrie (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Here is a prediction: pending UFA Tyson Barrie will stay with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tyson Barrie’s future lies with the Toronto Maple Leafs, no doubt about it.

At first it appeared as if Barrie would certainly move on, but that was before the 13th of March this year when the NHL announced the season was put on hold.

Now, as for the entire UFA class of 2020, free agency is summarized in one word; uncertainty.

For Barrie, it doesn’t have to be like that, really.

Under Sheldon Keefe, Barrie has a good thing going in Toronto, why give that up?

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tyson Barrie

Following his, bluntly put; horrible start with the Toronto Maple Leafs under Mike Babcock, Barrie refound his (offensive) mojo again under Keefe, proving that Dubas made the right call trading Nazem Kadri to Colorado for Kerfoot and Barrie.

Whereas Babcock never utilized Barrie’s offensive potential, Keefe certainly did. His underlying offensive numbers took a turn for the better under Keefe; going from a 44.4 HDCF% and 46.6 xGF% rating to a 52.4 HDCF% and 52.2 xGF% rating 5v5. (Stats per naturalstattrick).

The result?

In the 47 games Barrie played under Keefe, he tallied a total of 21 points 5v5, good for ranking 4th in the league among defenceman.

It’s no surprise his resurgences came after being paired with Morgan Rielly most of the time, together they form an offensive juggernaut on the blue-line while also being solid defensively, making Barrie the perfect and long searched dream partner for Rielly on the first defensive pairing.

Tyson Barrie and free agency

When asked during a media conference call with the NHL, Barrie said the following about his future in the NHL;

"It’s got to be the right fit, It has to be a spot where they obviously are in need of someone like myself and a good team headed in the right direction. There’s a lot of good organizations that tick those boxes."

For one, the Toronto Maple Leafs tick those boxes, all of them.

Secondly, Barrie has to ask himself; “Do I even want to hit free agency this year?”

It’s undoubtedly going to be the most intriguing free agency summer in NHL history, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth hitting free agency.

Any other year, Barrie would be a goner, based on his play and production with Colorado, he was well on his way of signing a long-term deal averaging 8 million annually.

However, where his slow start in Toronto would have had a minimal impact during free agency and would maybe be slightly felt in the annual value of his contract, the combination of the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, it’s uncertain how free agency would look for him right now.

The Leafs Worst Player of the Year. dark. Next

It’s uncertain and different enough I dare say he stays in Toronto, though, Dubas would have to move other pieces to facilitate Barrie under the salary cap.