Feel free to remove one tempting player from this summer’s trade target list.
The Colorado Avalanche will not be trading defenceman Tyson Barrie, general manager Joe Sakic told Mike Chambers of the Denver Post Thursday.
The 24-year-old Barrie, a subject of trade rumours for months now, is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1. Because he holds arbitration rights, the blueliner is looking for either a long-term deal or will opt to file for arbitration to maximize his salary short-term.
“I’d like to do a long-term deal with Tyson. If that doesn’t work out, it’s expected he’ll go to arbitration,” said Sakic, who will meet with Barrie’s agent at the draft. “Either way, he’ll be here.”
Barrie has ensconced himself in a top-four role for the Avs. In 2015-16, he led the club’s D-men in points (49) and logged more than 23 minutes per game.
One way or another, he will be getting a substantial raise from his current $2.6 million average annual salary.
Colorado needs to hang on to all the quality defencemen it has, and the emerging Barrie falls into that slim category.
Sakic and the Avalanche must also come to terms with impending RFA Nathan MacKinnon. There is no decision whether the star forward’s deal will be a bridge contract or something longer term.
“Whatever the two parties decide,” Sakic said. “We had initial talks. Not much lately but I’m sure it’s going to heat up in the summer and I’m sure we’ll have it done by training camp.”
The team’s unrestricted free agent forwards, Shawn Matthias and Mikkel Boedker, will both test the market on July 1, but Colorado will bid for their services.
“I did speak with both representatives. They’re going to test the open market and see what’s out there,” Sakic said. “I’d like to have one back for sure, or both, but we’ll see where that goes. They have the right to test it so they’re going to do that. We’ll revisit that early July.”