Why not? Cam Barker
If there’s a position that you want to have strong internal competition for and an invaluable amount of depth on it’s defense. So, while hockey news in general is becoming pretty hard to come by, I thought I would ask the question “Hey, why not?” about someone who could potentially be useful to the Vancouver Canucks.
Drafted 3rd overall in 2004 by the Chicago Blackhawks, Barker was one of the many to fall victim to being traded due to cap issues. Unfortunately for Barker, he was traded before the team won the Stanley Cup in 2010. Barker hasn’t really bounced around, but he spent the rest of the 2009-2010 season with the Minnesota Wild as well as an injury plagued 2010-2011 season. Bought out of his contract that off-season by the Wild, Barker signed a one-year contract with the Oilers. Another injury-plagued season, coupled with 9 healthy scratches, Barker was limited to 25 games.
In 25 games last season, Barker registered only 2 goals and zero assists. Since his trade from the Blackhawk, Barker has only accumulated 14 points in 96 games.
The picture I painted is pretty grim. A once highly touted draft pick now an injury-plagued defenseman with only 77 games played in the last two seasons, is he really worth it? Vancouver has been a team that was always willing to give players another chance. Though the success rate isn’t always high, nor does it seem to make sense, I think signing Barker to a low risk, high reward contract of one year at $1.75 million is fair. It gives him a chance to crack a line up of a top team. It adds depth to the blue line and gives the Canucks another big shot at the point. If Barker can regain some of his point producing touch and stay healthy, he would be a great insert into the lineup.
When you look at Barker’s stat sheet you see some great numbers, unfortunately for Barker he hasn’t been able to come close to those numbers since leaving Chicago. He’s also had some terrible luck with injuries. Various problems with his ankle have sidelined him for more than 40 games in the past two seasons. He’s also had an issue with his groin, but the ankle seems to be the most persisting injury.
In signing Barker you’re taking a very big chance, however, if he’s able to push for a job, or even just be a reliable insert into the lineup, it might just be worth it to bring him on for one year at $1.75 million.
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