Kristen Shilton of TSN spoke with pending unrestricted free agent and current Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman Tyson Barrie this week. Among the discussion points were how his season went, plans to help the Maple Leafs in a possible playoff scenario and what he’s thinking about for his playing future after this season.
Barrie noted he’s not sure where his future will be but he knows he wants to be with a team that will want and need his skill set. While there’s no way to know if he’ll get anything close to the money he’s being paid now and over a similar term, — his is in the final year of his four-year, $22 million contract — he explained:
“It’s a weird time to be heading into free agency, that’s for sure. We’re still not certain what’s going to play out here for the second half of the season and playoffs, and obviously that will extend into free agency. It’s an odd time, but at this point I think all I’ve got to do is focus on getting ready to play, if we are going to play, and try to take a run with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoffs. That’s why they brought me in and that’d be pretty spectacular, so hopefully we get a chance to do that.”
That’s this season, but what about next? There’s been a lot of talk that the Maple Leafs and Barrie will likely part ways, mostly because the Leafs cannot afford him in such a tight salary cap situation.
Barrie seems to understand he may have to move on next season. He’s not sure where, but said:
“I think 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 and a good organization. I think there’s a lot of right organizations that tick those boxes, so it’ll be a process where you sit down, and we’ll just go through everything important to me.”
Could The Canuck Be Interested?
One of the locations that seems to be a popular choice among insiders is the Vancouver Canucks. He’s from Victoria, BC and there was rumored interest by the Canucks prior to the trade deadline.
If the Canucks decide to go their separate ways from Chris Tanev and/or Troy Stecher, Barrie might be a nice fit.