As the NHL preseason draws nearer, the Colorado Avalanche have taken care of their last bit of contract business before the season begins. Budding defenseman Tyson Barrie has been signed to a deal that will keep him in an Avalanche uniform for the next two seasons. The deal is reportedly worth $5.2 million.
Barrie was the last of several Colorado players who had pending contract negotiations this offseason, others being Ryan O'Reilly and Nick Holden. With Barrie under contract, the team can set aside contract concerns and focus on hockey. Moving forward, Barrie is expected to lead the charge when it comes to offensive production from the defense.
It might be surprising to some that Barrie's new contract is only for two years, but the length of it hardly matters. If Barrie plays as well as expected than he will no doubt earn a monster contract extension before being allowed to reach free agency. In the meantime, the team isn't tied to him long term in the unfortunate event that he doesn't continue on his current path. The most likely scenario, however, is that he will be with the Avalanche for a very long time. He has already been identified as a crucial part of the team's young nucleus, and based on his development so far, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about his career trajectory.
Between Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson, Jan Hejda and Brad Stuart, Colorado has a diversely talented top 4 on defense. Hejda and Stuart are the imposing stay-at-home defensemen, Johnson is a very good two-way blueliner, and Barrie gives the defense an offensive spark. Most outsiders still view Colorado as a team that is weak defensively, but they could certainly do a lot worse. These guys are capable players and they will be ready to go come puck drop.
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