The Arizona Coyotes need to make a bold move at the trade deadline and Tyson Barrie could be the kind of player the team need.
The Coyotes are in a tight race for the playoffs that sees changes in the standings with virtually every game played. Each game matters more than the last and every other team in the Western Conference has games in hand still to play.
The cause of the inconsistent play the Coyotes have shown over the past couple of months is a question virtually every fan is asking themselves. And there’s no clear reason when looking at games on an individual basis.
However, one alarming statistic could be one reason the Coyotes are not claiming points at the rate they arguably should be.
The team currently has the 20th ranked power-play unit (19.1%) in the NHL, something that is probably not too surprising to many following the team.
However, the Coyotes have played the SECOND MOST amount of power-play minutes in the entire league with 342:16 - just over nine minutes behind the league-leading Vancouver Canucks.
This shows that the Coyotes are not capitalizing on their chances when presented with an advantage and something needs to change sooner rather than later if the team that was once sat atop the Pacific Division has any hope of making the playoffs.
The Coyotes have been dealt a sorry piece of news that Jakob Chychrun is set to miss a few games with a possible hip injury.
Hearing Jakob Chychrun has a hip injury. There is some concern about it, but the Coyotes’ schedule does get a lot more forgiving after tonight, with only two games in the next 10 days. https://t.co/Tt6FU9ICgj— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) February 22, 2020
This is where Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Tyson Barrie comes in, with the former Colorado Avalanche third-round pick seemingly available ahead of Monday’s deadline.
Barrie struggled in the early days of his arrival in Canada’s largest city, with Mike Babcock utilizing him in a way that did not cater to his offensive talents.
After Sheldon Keefe replaced Babcock earlier this season, he has been in excellent form and now has five goals and 33 total points in 62 regular-season games, averaging 21:44 while on the ice.
Barrie is also a key player on the Leafs’ power-play unit, with the Leafs scoring 41 goals on the advantage while having just 268:08 of total minutes played this season, almost 100 fewer than the Coyotes, who have scored 38.
The Leafs are reportedly looking to make a deal involving Barrie that would see them either take a defensive-minded blueliner in return, or acquire pieces that they could use to package for one from another team in the NHL.
The Coyotes are fairly stuck with regards to the salary cap, but Barrie could also be an interesting asset for the team as he would only count for $2,750,000 against that cap thanks to the Avalanche retaining on his deal when he was traded to Toronto.
The Arizona Coyotes need an offensive spark and may need some additional defensive depth with the absence of Chychrun as well as Jason Demers, who is still sidelined.
It’s unclear what the Coyotes might need or be willing to give up to make a move such as this, but it is certainly something that general manager John Chayka should give some serious consideration.