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Tyson Barrie signs 1-year deal with Edmonton Oilers

Tyson Barrie (94) turns hard with the puck as Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) defends during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette.
Tyson Barrie (94) turns hard with the puck as Arizona Coyotes right wing Phil Kessel (81) defends during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent defenceman Tyson Barrie to a one-year contract worth $3.75 million.

Barrie, 29, spent last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had five goals and 39 points in 70 games.

There were numerous reports that Barrie turned down more lucrative contract offers from other teams.

“For me, it’s a no-brainer,” Barrie said Saturday afternoon. “It wasn’t about money this year.

“I’m coming to re-establish myself and show the league I’m a pretty good player.”

Barrie admits his confidence waned in Toronto after a slow start to the season.

“Coming out of Toronto’s tough,” he said. “The media is tough, and the fans can be hard on you. I’m just excited to show I’m a hell of a player and I have a lot left to give.”

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His best offensive season was in 2018/19 with the Colorado Avalanche when he racked up 59 points in 78 games. He’s expected to help the Oilers already potent power play (29.5 per cent last season), especially if Oscar Klefbom misses all or some of next season. Barrie says not to overlook pars of his game.

“I’ve always excelled five-on-five,” Barrie said. “You look back on my time in Colorado, I’ve had a lot of good years five-on-five. I get labeled as the power play specialist.

“Sometimes I feel that’s unwarranted.”

Read more: Edmonton Oilers sign Kyle Turris in free agency

Barrie is expected to help the Oilers already potent power play (29.5% last season), especially if Oscar Klefbom misses all or some of next season.

Barrie grew up on Vancouver Island. He played for Kelowna in the WHL and was drafted 64th overall by Colorado in 2009. He has 346 points in 554 NHL games.

Also on Saturday, the Oilers signed goalie Mike Smith to a one-year deal worth $2 million. Smith, 38, was with the Oilers last season, going 19-12-6 with a .902 save percentage.

Smith knows general manager Ken Holland explored other options in goal.

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“I think Ken’s just doing his job,” Smith said. “There were a lot of goalies and not a lot of spots to fill. There was going to be a lot of movement in this position. It was kind of a weird year for that. At my age and at my experience, you just have to be patient.”