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Avs’ O’Reilly remains in KHL as he awaits new contract

Jan 10, 2013, 10:50 PM EDT

Antti Niemi, Ryan O'Reilly AP

Ryan O’Reilly has a contract to play professional hockey, but there’s a problem: it’s currently with Metallurg in the KHL, not the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that he’ll stay in Russia until he sees a deal from the Avs.

While the two sides cannot sign anything until the CBA is ratified by the NHLPA, the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reports that the current issue is term. O’Reilly wants a five-year pact while Colorado is offering three.

It’s been a tough haggling session between the team and its promising 21-year-old forward after his breakthrough work in 2011-12.

O’Reilly went from 26 points in each of his previous two seasons to 55 last year, jumping up to 19:32 minutes of ice time per game (up from his previous high of 16:46). That’s a sign of incredible growth, but perhaps the Avalanche are unsure if he’ll continue in that direction or if he’ll regress?

For the most part, Colorado did an excellent job locking up key pieces for reasonable prices during the offseason, though.

Even after a tough campaign or two, Matt Duchene‘s two-year, $7 million deal is a relative bargain. The same goes for top blueliner Erik Johnson, whose cap hit is a respectable $3.75 million per season.

Deals like those could help them be a sleeper team in this short season, yet bringing O’Reilly back would help that cause significantly.

  1. sampulls - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    I pick them as the sleeper! Watch out for the Avs.

  2. spetznaz777 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    sign whoever you want. if semyon varmalov can’t stay healthy they’re sunk.

  3. yanks33 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Without O’Reilly the Avs will be introuble, he’s by far the best 2 way player on the team and the hardest worker, i really hope a deal gets done before the season starts

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      he’s one of the best two-way players in the league – I’m sure this situation is being watched!

    • antkowiak666 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Landeskog wasn’t no slouch either.

  4. hockeywithdrawal - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    I’m surprised no other teams have gone after him – 18 goals and 55 points is decent and he’s shown improvement every year….but the kid led the league in takeaways last year – you don’t do that by accident or by being a one-sided player. I’d like to see the Pens swoop in and take him and either use him as top 6 wing (if he can convert from Center) or move Sutter to top 6 wing and let him achor 3rd line.

    I hate what Philthy did with Weber, but in this case, where it’s clear both sides have issues with the offer and no deal has been made, I’m all for an offer from another team.

    • yanks33 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      I would not like to see anyone swoop in and grab him…i’d be so friggin pist

    • antkowiak666 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      he’s restricted.

      • antkowiak666 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        *the Avs would match any deal.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        That’s what I mean though – if another team comes in and offers him 5 years…and the Avs match…why not JUST DO IT NOW and sure the kid up. At least bring him home for training camp for Gad’s sake…and if they won’t, I hope someone else does.

  5. woodstakes - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Not an Av’s fan but it is a little confusing why the Av’s would be so reluctant to give a 21 yr old guy whose numbers went up a 5 year deal. With the growth of all the other young guys on the Av’s his numbers jump shouldn’t be all that surprising especially with an increase of nearly 4 minutes a game as well. I’ve heard many an Av’s fan complain about the ownership being terrible, perhaps this is an example of why they have such complaints.

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