So far, scheduled arbitration hearings around the NHL have been avoided — until Friday.
The Colorado Avalanche and defenseman Tyson Barrie went ahead with the player-elected arbitration hearing on Friday, however, the two sides can still reach a new deal before a decision from arbitrator Elizabeth Neumeier must be provided within 48 hours of the hearing.
Here is what was separating the two sides heading into the hearing, as per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet:
Last season, the 25-year-old Barrie, who brings an offensive style to Colorado’s blue line, tied his single-season career high in goals with 13. He also had 49 points, which is four shy of his single-season career high from 2014-15.
He also just wrapped up his two-year deal, which came with an average annual value of $2.6 million.
Given his numbers and the position he plays, Barrie is in for a substantial raise. Exactly what dollar figure that comes to has yet to be determined.
The arbitration hearing could get bruising, with the Barrie camp citing his offensive numbers and arguing that as a terrific skater and puckhandler, he is among the top offensive defensemen in the league; but with the Avalanche countering that as an undersized defenseman, he has deficiencies in the Colorado end.
The Avalanche have the option of walking away from the arbitrator’s ruling, but that could make Barrie, a right-shot blue liner, an unrestricted free agent.
Barrie has also been the subject of trade speculation, but Avalanche GM Joe Sakic has already said the Avs are not trading Barrie.
“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,” Sakic told the Denver Post last month. “Either way, he’ll be here.”