Newport Sports Management represents a number of NHL players, including talented Colorado d-man and pending RFA Tyson Barrie.
And that’s worth noting because — at least historically — Newport and the Avs haven’t exactly seen eye-to-eye.
Two years ago, things got contentious between Colorado and Newport’s Pat Morris, the agent for ex-Avs center Ryan O'Reilly. The club filed for arbitration in the summer of ’14, a case Morris said “we didn’t think we’d have to attend to,” suggesting the Avs were playing a dangerous game with one of their key young performers.
While the O’Reilly situation ended with him eventually being traded to Buffalo, Barrie’s agent — Newport’s Don Meehan — insists it won’t affect current negotiations.
“We just view it as business, that’s all,” Meehan said, per the Denver Post. “We have a professional camaraderie with Joe [Sakic, Colorado’s GM] that is very good. We will have differences of opinion, but that’s fine. We want to be fully open and transparent about a process, and we have a good relationship with Joe.”
The Barrie negotiations are worth monitoring. Meehan, who was in Denver for last night’s Avs-Habs game, said he’s had discussions with Sakic about his client, but noted there aren’t any new ones planned.
Barrie, 24, is in the last of a two-year, $5.2 million deal with a $2.6M average annual cap hit. A quality offensive d-man, he’s likely in line for a big raise — he sits 10th among NHL blueliners in scoring this year with 37 points, and finished eighth last year with 53.
But how will the Avs play it?
Meehan mentioned the possibility of the club taking Barrie to arbitration, like it did with O’Reilly. It’s also worth nothing that Sakic has to deal with other free agents this summer, chiefly prized young forward Nathan MacKinnon, who’s in the last year of his entry-level contract.
(And remember, Erik Johnson‘s $6 million-per-season extension kicks in next year, too.)
Whatever the case, Meehan insists past grievances won’t come into play with Barrie.
“Sometimes we’ll agree and sometimes we won’t, but that’s OK,” he said. “We’ve been around too long to take it personal.”