Dave Barr's accomplishments in junior were overlooked by scouts, perhaps because of the attention paid to four of his Lethbridge teammates, all of them named Sutter. Undrafted, Barr was eventually signed as a free agent by the Boston Bruins, the first of eight NHL teams for the journeyman right-winger.
Barr's best years were with Detroit but he was stolen away from the Wings by an arbitrator's decision in 1991. The Wings got word that their division rivals, the St. Louis Blues, had their eye on Troy Crowder of the New Jersey Devils. The Wings didn't want Crowder mixing it up with their tough guy, Bob Probert, and signed him instead. The Devils asked for Probert as compensation but were given Barr and Randy McKay. Barr couldn't recapture the good times he had in Detroit and ended his career in the IHL.
Along the way, he was traded four times and signed as a free agent by Dallas in 1993-94, a season marred by serious elbow surgery that prevented Barr from getting back into the NHL. His best year was 1988-89 with Detroit when he scored 27 goals, not bad for a player no one wanted as a draft eligible prospect. He retired in 1997 to pursue coaching in the IHL with Houston.