Putting an end to months of speculation, Joe Sakic told the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers today 24-year-old restricted free agent Tyson Barrie will not be traded to avoid an impending pay increase. National reporters and pundits have spread rumors for much of the offseason claiming the budding star defenseman was on this way out of town. Avalanche fans can now rest easier.
Avalanche NOT trading D Tyson Barrie, GM Joe Sakic tells me. LT deal preferred for RFA, or arbitration. "Either way, he'll be here" - Sakic— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) June 16, 2016
Furthermore, Sakic went on to say the organization plans to qualify other prominent restricted free agents Andreas Martinsen (signed this past offseason from Europe), Brandon Gormley (acquired in the Stefan Elliot trade), and Duncan Siemens, the 2011 11th overall pick acquired during the Erik Johnson trade.
More from JSakic: #Avs not given up on D Duncan Siemens, 11th pick of '11 draft. Will be qualified RFA along w Martinsen, Gormley & others— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) June 16, 2016
Siemens and Gormley, high draft picks who have taken slow paths to the NHL, should provide solid depth options on defense for the organization next season. Both will most likely lead a young blue line group for the AHL San Antonio Rampage and compete for an NHL promotion when injuries inevitably arise.
Martinsen, the big 25-year-old forward from Norway, was a surprise bottom-six contributor last season, earning the admiration of fans for his physical play and flashes of scoring ability. He should compete again for a checking-line role heading into training camp.
Article will update as information becomes available.