General Manager Barry Trotz knows it too, and is now allowing Barrie to seek a trade out of Nashville, per Elliotte Friedman early on Saturday ahead of the Nashville Predators matchup with the New York Rangers.
Barrie is expected to be a healthy scratch for the Rangers game, signaling this could unfold very fast.
Barrie came to Nashville at the last trade deadline as part of the Mattias Ekholm trade, and has actually been well-liked since coming over. He has been popular in the locker room and as a person, and seemed to provide a good swap as a right-handed offensive defenseman, while Ekholm is the exact opposite.
Nowadays, Barrie has played on the third defensive pairing, and unfortunately seems to be excess goods on the team. He also has just this year left on his contract, so it very much looks like the Predators are going to lose him when the 2024 offseason gets here anyway.
Allowing Barrie to talk to other teams is a move that is best for both sides, and the Predators are doing the right thing here.
Ripple effect on Nashville Predators shopping Tyson Barrie
I will say that I am a little surprised that now is when this news comes out, as another right-handed defenseman in Alexandre Carrier is now week-to-week with an injury. Regardless, if the Predators knew that this is something they wanted to do, it would have done no good to wait any longer, so good thing they are not wasting anymore time.
This also tells me that the Predators are serious about giving Dante Fabbro a serious role on the team, which I am very glad to see. He has been scratched for three consecutive games last week as Head Coach Andrew Brunette was experimenting a bit with the defense, but Fabbro has played very well this year and has earned his time, and luckily it looks like the team knows that.
Fabbro will be a regular in the lineup going forward, and we can also assume that Spencer Stastney will be as well. He had come into the lineup recently and played well, then got sent back down to Milwaukee, but got called back up due to the Carrier injury, and now it is thankfully hard to imagine him being sent back down to the minors.
Jeremy Lauzon also will continue to dress on a nightly basis for the Predators, and the real question now is who will take Barrie’s spot on the third pairing. Luckily, they have options, and if they choose carefully, the swap should not hurt them.
The most seemingly logical option is putting Luke Schenn there, due to his contract and that he is a right-handed defenseman. But he has frankly not played well, and while scratching him would kind of suck due to the money he is making, the Predators have other options if they want to ensure that they are playing the best hockey they can.
One of them is bringing back Marc Del Gaizo, who played well at both ends of the ice in five games for the Predators, and got three assists in those games.
Another player who should be on everyone’s radar is Jake Livingstone, who got signed by the Predators towards the end of last year and played five games. He has three assists in 15 games for the Admirals in his first season in the AHL.
Livingstone looked pretty decent in a short NHL sample size and got another short-term contract, indicating that the team liked what they saw.
Something else to keep in mind is that because Lauzon is someone who can play on the left or right side effectively, the Predators’ decision on who to call up does not have to be selective in that regard, so it is a decent mystery who exactly they decide to put in Barrie’s spot.
Assessing Trade Value for Barrie
As far as what it would look like to trade Barrie, the Predators surely will not get very much in return. They are the ones allowing him to seek a trade, and when other teams know that, they will never give much for the player in question, unless that player is a bonafide superstar.
Barrie is not that, so do not expect the Predators to get much back but minor assets, if even that quite honestly.
As far as teams who could trade for Barrie, there are no teams who are dying for his services, but there are some playoff teams who could use him, as he is as still a good skater who is offensively inclined. Some of those teams could be the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, and Los Angeles Kings.
The Minnesota Wild also could use him on paper, but that could be tough right now because how far out of the playoffs they are and they have basically no cap space to work with.
We do not know quite who would want Barrie, but the bottom line is whoever did trade for him would not be giving up much in the slightest.
It is not ideal that it has come to this for the Nashville Predators, but they are wise to bite the bullet and let him go. They are doing it purely out of necessity, and they will be better off simply due to not having the same dilemma of who to play and who to not on defense.