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Avs’ O’Reilly negotiations seem stuck in the mud

Jan 31, 2013, 10:33 AM EDT

Ryan O'Reilly Reuters

The good news is that Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly previously reported foot injury is only a minor sprained ankle, according to the Denver Post. The bad news is, well, basically everything else regarding the O’Reilly situation.

Nearly two weeks into the regular season, the 21-year-old forward is still a restricted free agent. To make matters worse, there’s reportedly been little to no contact recently between the Avalanche and O’Reilly’s agents, Mark Guy and Pat Morris.

O’Reilly has been offered separate two-year, $7 million and five-year, $17 million contracts, but it’s believed that he wants a deal that reflects both his skills as a two-way forward and his breakout 55-point campaign in 2011-12. The Avalanche are likely looking to hedge their bets, given that the Ontario-native had just 52 points over his first two seasons.

The Avalanche don’t want to trade him and they will still control his NHL rights even if they don’t sign him this season.

Still, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater argues that them playing hardball for so long with a potential franchise player might backfire in a big way:

The Avs have just let this kind of thing go on for way too long with players. They cut off their nose to spite their face time and again with players who want what – fair or not – is their perceived value. Then they leave and thrive elsewhere. Maybe it’s time for Avs management to take a good hard look in the mirror and say “Maybe it’s us, not them” as to why players seem to do great things away from this team, after, you know, other teams show they care about them at the bargaining table.

On top of that, the Avalanche do need his help in the short-term as well. They have already lost forward Steve Downie for the rest of the season and captain Gabriel Landeskog missed his second straight contest on Wednesday with head and neck injuries.

With those two players out of the lineup and O’Reilly still unsigned, Colorado suffered a 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday to fall to 2-4-0 this season.

  1. polegojim - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I’ve said it 100 times over the past few years… the Avs organization is ‘perceived’ to have changed from fierce competition and a strong commitment to winning… into a lukewarm vomitous mass of mediocrity.

    C’MON MAN… get the deal done and stop the madness.

  2. hockeywithdrawal - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    They say what they’ve offered, but not what he wants….anyone heard? They need that kid.

    I wonder if he’s benchmarking his expectations vs. Stastny’s salary (and production) after last season?

    • jernster21 - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      It seems like he’s looking for something in the realm of 4-5 million a year. From what people have said, his KHL contract was a prorated 4 million dollar deal.

      As far as comparing to Stastny, it doesn’t carry much weight in my opinion. That deal was negotiated by a GM no longer around, not Greg Sherman. Sherman has a done a pretty good job at signing folks to reasonable deals given their status of RFA’s and UFA’s.

      I have a problem with people who want to compare O’Reilly’s skills vs those of a PA Parenteau or David Jones. Jones has 2 20+ goal seasons under his belt, one of them closer to 30 goals than 20 – even after O’Reilly’s break out year last year, he still didn’t eclipse 20 goals. Additionally, Jones’ contract was given based on his status as UFA and that being the price to keep a proven goal scorer on the team and off the UFA market.

      I’m not a GM obviously, but it seems to me that there is a deal to be made around the 3.75m range depending on term.

  3. dolphincult - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    meet in the middle or move him.

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