Barker's Beauties. Photo courtesy Bauer.com

A Breakout For Cam Barker?


The Cam Barker signing is an interesting one. I’ll roll out a compliment sandwich for the occasion.

  • It’s obvious the team needed to do something on defence.  The Oilers went out and signed Cam Barker.  Edmonton will be Barker’s third NHL team after playing in Chicago and Minnesota.  Perhaps a fresh start in Edmonton will help bolster a guy like Cam Barker who hasn’t lived up to his potential billing as a third overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.  It’s a one year deal, and if he’s a disaster, the strings can be cut at the end of the 2012 season.
  • $2.25M on a one way deal.  Yeeesh.  And he was bought out last year?  What does Minnesota know that Edmonton doesn’t?  I’m afraid to ask.
  • Ah well, at least it isn’t a four year deal for a 35+ guy that’s guaranteed money.  If he plays above expectations, there’s a good chance that he could be had for less than thirty billion dollars in 2012-13 and beyond.

Will Cam Barker find his ‘A’ game in Edmonton?

SB Nation’s Minnesota Wild blog Hockey Wilderness looks at Barker like he’s some form of the plague.  Edmonton didn’t sign the plague, did they?

Recap.

  • 2010-11:  5 points (1G-4A) in 51 GP, -10 (MIN)
  • 2009-10: 21 points (5G-16A) in 70 GP, +5 (combined CHI/MIN)
  • 2008-09: 40 points (6G-34A) in 68 GP, -6 (CHI) – I don’t think too many folks would complain about a season like that.52
  • 2007-08: 18 points (6G-12A) in 45 GP, -3 (CHI) – split time with Rockford (AHL)

A lefty with a big shot, groin and upper body injuries kept Barker from seeing more time in the lineup with the Wild last season. Regardless of the fact he was a high pick in ’04, risk comes with the signing of Barker due to his durability issues.  According to TSN, he’s had ankle issues going back as far as 2006.  It’s also an interesting tidbit of knowledge that Barker was one of the five Blackhawks that allegedly did not receive a qualifying offerby the league’s deadline, allowing Barker to entertain offers from any other team in the league.  The Hawks signed him to a three year deal worth over three million a season.  It goes without saying that this was after his forty point season.

It also goes without saying that the Blackhawks were a pretty good team at that juncture, which may explain why Barker was dealt for a couple of players in 2009-10.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM CAM BARKER IN 2011-12?

We’ll play “Glass Half Full” today.

Cam Barker will need to come to camp ready to work.  A one-way deal for one year is a green light to come in and make an immediate impact. It may not be fair that he’ll always have the ‘third overall in 2004′ tag hanging from his helmet, but the territory comes for those who are picked high.  Just ask Alexandre Daigle or Jason Bonsignore.  Barker will need to escape the injury bug that limited him to 51 games last year

If Barker can play 70 games and turn 25 points while maintaining a +/- that isn’t near a mini golf world champion, then $2.25M won’t look all that bad.  Maybe not ‘third overall in the ’04 NHL draft’ good, but not bad at all.  And that’s all I’m asking for.

What do you think a successful season for Cam Barker would look like?

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Tags: Alexandre Daigle Cam Barker Jason Bonsignore