After getting cast off by the Canadiens in February of the 2016-17 season, Mark Barberio got claimed off waivers by the Avalanche and went on to carve out a notable niche on their blue line, averaging 20:40 of ice time over 34 games to close out the year. That's a lot more action than the 27-year-old has managed to see at any other point of his career, but it resulted in modest stats -- two goals, seven assists and 52 shots along with a minus-6 rating. However, with few viable alternatives to challenge him, Barberio could very well open the new season on the Avs' top defensive pairing; if not, second-pairing minutes seem guaranteed. It's questionable what he might accomplish with a full season of serious playing time, but Barberio does have a track record of generating offense in the AHL and seems likely to see power-play opportunities, so owners in deep leagues should keep tabs on him late in drafts.
Barberio collected an assist in a 4-3 overtime win over Chicago on Tuesday. The rearguard collected the secondary helper on Mikhail Grigorenko's game-tying goal 5:46 into the third period. Barberio has actually seen a modest uptick in production since being dealt to the Avs by Montreal, recording nine points in 31 games after managing just four -- all assists -- in 31 contests with the Habs. It's also worth noting that his average ice time has climbed by more than five minutes per game in Colorado, and his 4:28 of power-play time Tuesday was a game high.
Barberio was claimed off waivers by the Avalanche on Thursday. Formerly with the Canadiens, Barberio moves from a contending team to the league's worst. However, he may see an uptick in playing time over the 15:07 he'd been averaging with the Habs, especially since his new club is dealing with injuries to defensemen Fedor Tyutin (groin) and Erik Johnson (leg).
Barberio was waived by the team Wednesday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports. In 20 contests since being called up in mid-December, Barberio has averaged a mere 15:40 of ice time while tallying just three helpers, eight hits, and 18 blocked shots. The move to waive the blueliner could be an indication that Jeff Petry (illness) is healthy enough to suit up versus the Flyers on Thursday. If Barberio clears, which is certainly not a guarantee, he will likely be assigned to AHL St. Johns.
Barberio was called up to the Canadiens on Thursday. Barberio is a physical, low-end defenseman for the Habs, who currently sit in first place within the Atlantic Division. While fantasy owners shouldn't expect much out of a player who has only drawn into six games this season, Barberio is an insurance policy of sorts with Greg Pateryn on injured reserve due to a broken ankle.
Barberio was reassigned to AHL St. John's on Tuesday, Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports. Despite receiving the call up Friday, Barberio returns to the minors without playing a game for the big club during this short stint. He could return soon considering Greg Pateryn (ankle) will remain sidelined for a number of weeks, but the 26-year-old is far from a sure thing at this point.
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