Avalanche re-sign Tyson Barrie, plus updates on Alex Steen, Oscar Klefbom & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche and defenseman Tyson Barrie reached agreement on Sunday on a new contract just prior to an arbitrator’s decision. Barrie inked a four-year, $22 million deal. “Barrie will make $5 million, $5.25 million, $5.75 million and $6 million in the next four seasons, for an annual cap hit of $5.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should effectively bring months of trade speculation regarding Barrie to an end. Barrie also said he had no hard feelings toward the Avs for going through the arbitration process, claiming he’s pleased with his new deal.
Considering the expectation that his camp was originally pursuing a multi-year deal worth over $6 million annually, the Avs managed to re-sign him for less than the average annual cap hit of Erik Johnson ($6 million), their highest-paid blueliner. It’s also a reasonable term, carrying Barrie to age 29, two years past his eligibility for UFA status. Should his performance improve during that period, the Avs will have done well getting him signed to what could be a cap-friendly contract.
NBC SPORTS: cites the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford’s recent comment in a live chat with Blues fans claiming the club will try to come to terms on a new contract with winger Alex Steen, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency.
Rutherford also reported Steen, who’s recovering from shoulder surgery, likely won’t be ready for the World Cup of Hockey in September and could miss the start of the 2016-17 NHL season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Steen, 32, is entering the final season of a three-year deal with an annual average salary of $5.8 million. I’m guessing the Blues could offer a three-year deal for roughly the same cap hit.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: In an interview with a Swedish reporter, Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom apparently claimed former teammate Taylor Hall never played at his best against tough opposition. Klefbom later clarified his comments to claim everyone on the Oilers, including himself, underperformed when really needed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m with David Staples on this. It’s really much ado about nothing. It won’t have any impact upon the performance of either player or that of the Oilers, as Hall is no longer with the club.