What potentially could have been Tyson Barrie's breakout National Hockey League season with the Colorado Avalanche was instead spent Tuesday night in Abbotsford.
"It's wait and see. It's a bit frustrating. But it is what it is," the Victoria product said about the NHL lockout.
"One day you're optimistic and then the next day you're not."
The Juan de Fuca minor hockey graduate has made good use of his lockout time. The quick-footed and mobile defenceman has four goals and 10 points in 14 games for the Lake Erie Monsters of Cleveland. The Heat got the best of the Monsters on Tuesday night though, as the Flames' farm team prevailed 3-0. The two teams will play again tonight.
"We're off to a good start [9-5]. I have no complaints about that," said Barrie, who had five goals and 32 points in 49 games for the Monsters last season as a rookie pro.
"And it's always good to come back so close to home and I'll be going out for dinner after the game with family and friends."
But there is always one eye trained on the NHL's boardroom proceedings.
The players have hung tight and Barrie's attitude reflects that.
"We're trying to get a fair deal," said the 21-year-old former WHL defenceman of the year, who broke into the NHL with 10 games last season with no points and a minus-two rating.
"The players know what is a fair deal and know what they want. We have a good core leadership group."
Part of the latter includes another Colorado blueliner from Victoria - the Avs player rep Ryan O'Byrne.
"Ryan is the guy who keeps me updated," said Barrie.
© Copyright 2013