Tyson Barrie’s tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs has been a turbulent one, and there are now rumours that the team could be willing to cut bait with their offseason acquisition ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
According to Bob McKenzie on TSN’s Insider Trading segment, the Maple Leafs have been fielding calls on their pending unrestricted free agent defenceman this week.
“When those teams called, the Leafs basically told those teams that were interested ‘we would consider it under the right set of circumstances.’”
McKenzie further cautioned that a move to deal Barrie would not signal a sell-off situation for a club with big aspirations coming into the season.
“One of two things has to happen in order for Barrie to be traded,” McKenzie said. “Either they have to get a defenceman coming back that makes them a better team right now because they still want to make the playoffs, or they have to get picks and prospects that they could immediately turn around and parlay into that mythical unicorn right shot defenceman that they are looking to play with Morgan Rielly.”
Several teams have expressed interest in Rielly, according to McKenzie, with the Vancouver Canucks being among those that have spoken to the Leafs about his services.
Obviously there are several hoops to be jumped through before a trade can be considered anything close to imminent, but it does further the conversation that neither Barrie nor the Maple Leafs have been satisfied with how their relationship together has gone so far. In 61 games heading into Thursday night’s game, Barrie has scored five goals and tallied 33 points, representing a sizeable step down from the 59 and 57 point seasons he posted with the Colorado Avalanche the last two years.
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