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Leafs' Barrie: 'It's a weird time' to be entering free agency

Kevin Sousa / National Hockey League / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but when that will be remains unclear with the 2019-20 campaign still on pause.

"It's a weird time to be heading into free agency," Barrie said Wednesday, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton.

"We're still not certain on what's going to play out here. At this point, I think all I can do is focus on getting ready to play, if we are going to play, and take a run with the Toronto Maple Leafs."

The Stanley Cup is traditionally awarded in early June and the free-agent signing period begins July 1. As the NHL continues to explore different scenarios for resuming play, several critical factors that will impact free agency - including what next season's salary cap will be - still need to be discussed.

While so much remains uncertain, Barrie is clear about what he's searching for when it comes to his next team.

"It's got to be the right fit. I think it has to be a spot where they are in need of someone like myself," he said. "A good team headed in the right direction and a good organization. I think there's a lot of right organizations that tick those boxes."

Barrie signed a four-year, $22-million deal with the Colorado Avalanche ahead of the 2016-17 season and was traded to Toronto last July. The veteran rearguard ranks fifth on the team and first among defensemen with 39 points while logging 21:53 of average ice time through 70 games.

Several other coveted talents are also set to become unrestricted free agents this offseason, including Arizona Coyotes forward Taylor Hall and St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

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