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Flames sign O’Reilly to offer sheet

Feb 28, 2013, 5:40 PM EDT

Ryan O'Reilly

The Calgary Flames have signed restricted free agent center Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

The deal is reportedly for two years with an average annual value of $5 million. O’Reilly, 22, would have a salary of $1 million for this season, plus a $2.5 million signing bonus. Next season, he would be paid $6.5 million.

O’Reilly has been unable to negotiate a new contract with the Colorado Avalanche after leading the club with 55 points in 2011-12.

The Flames confirmed today’s move in a release.

“Under the rules pertaining to an offer sheet, we will allow the process to transpire,” said general manager Jay Feaster. “We will not provide any further comment until the process is complete.”

Colorado has until March 7 to decide if it will match the offer.

If the Avs refuse to match, the Flames will compensate Colorado with a first- and third-round draft pick.

If the Avs do match, they can’t trade O’Reilly for one calendar year.

Calgary has been searching for help down the middle for some time now. That need only increased when Olli Jokinen departed for Winnipeg this summer.

As TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes, O’Reilly’s salary next season means his team’s qualifying offer for 2014-15 to retain his negotiating rights must be at least $6.5 million.


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  1. bear654 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    What picks do the Avs get if they don’t match the offer?

    • bear654 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Nevermind, the twitter machine says it’s CGY’s first and third round picks

    • soj83 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Calgarys 1st and 3rd

  2. jernster21 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Avs will match it. THANK GOD IT’S OVER EITHER WAY.

    • killerpgh - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      I don’t think they will. The Flames are tied for 24th overall in the NHL right now. The Avs can wait a week before the decide. At that point the season will be about half over. Not to much time to turn it around for them. The Avs will probably get a top 10 pick plus a 3rd round pick. The Avs will probably also finsh this season in the bottom 1/3 of the league so they can end up with 2 top 10 picks in the next draft. This is a deep draft according to most draft “experts”. And on top of the every team that misses the playoffs have a chance at the number 1 overall pick. Now they would 2 chances at it.

      • killerpgh - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Now that I wrote that I not positive the Avs have there 1st round pick this year. I know they gave up a 1st round pick for Varly but I can remember if that was last years pick or this years pick.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        True the Flames are in 24th, but they’re 5 points away from being in fourth in the conference (with 3 games in hand) and with Kipper coming back fairly soon. Not saying they’ll make the playoffs but it would be a mistake to look at where they are now and assume it will just stay that way…especially if O’Reilly shows up and plays well.

      • jernster21 - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        We have our first this year. The draft doesn’t guarantee a player that can play in the NHL – O’Reilly can…there’s more risk than reward, that’s why I don’t see the Avs not matching it. Plus they’re in the NW division – if they were going to make a trade it would have been with an eastern conference team.

  3. sjsharks66 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Did they offer sheet his dad also?

    • jernster21 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      His offer was to shut the hell up and leave the negotiations to the big boys.

  4. jernster21 - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    BTW the Flames probably see O’Reilly has Iginila’s replacement after he’s traded/retired. I can see the interest – I just don’t think the Avs would let him go to like that to an inter-division team…coincidentally enough, the two square off tonight.

  5. habsman - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Surprised. Big money for a 21 yr old with one good season. Big gamble by Calgary.

    I don’t see Colorado matching, it would be admitting they were wrong in their evaluation, and were squeezing O’reilly all along.

    Either way, Feaster won’t be getting any xmas cards from the Avalanche.

    • jernster21 - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      It doesn’t admit they were wrong – matching it says that they’re paying the money to him at a value determined by another team. Doesn’t mean that they agree with his the value but that they have the money to him what someone else thinks he’s worth to them.

  6. nunan - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Not that Iginla was going anywhere this season anyway but this pretty much solidifies that. The Flames are ‘buyers’ once again…pushing for the all important 9th spot in the west.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      Yeah it’ll be a tough battle with the Wild to get it.

  7. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I’m mixed on this, it’s a talent rich draft and Calgary is looking at a possible high pick however O’Reilly would make the team better right now. Is it better to have a 22 year old who’s already put up 55 points in the NHL and is conceivably on the upswing? Or the chance to draft someone with the potential to put up much more?

    Actually I think I’m okay with this, Calgary needs help at centre and with him, Baertschi and Hudler they’ve significantly upgraded their scoring skill from previous years,

    Certainly adds an interesting layer to tonight’s Flames v Avalanche game!

  8. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    If The Avs wouldn’t pay him $4 million why would they match this? I know they’ve been asking for a lot in return in a trade, but the direction Calgary is going wouldn’t you consider the picks? I mean this is one of the deepest drafts in years and that pick could be in the top 10. Maybe even top 5. It seems like the Colorado bridge has been burned by O’Reilly, so if I was the Avs I’d take the picks.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      It won’t be a top 5 pick (unless the Flames win the draft lottery) with Kipper coming back and the Flames looking competent almost every night I think it’ll end up in the 10-15 range, with the off chance the could sneak into the playoffs in 8th.

  9. thtguy90 - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    O’Reilly must be happy. He surely isn’t worth that amount of money. One good season doesn’t make you a good player.

  10. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Nice @ SHSharks

  11. drez146 - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Still don’t see how he’s worth 5 mill a year

  12. mclovinhockey - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Wow that’s a very high pick. Between the flames and Avs first round picks the Avs can have a great shot at the number 1 overall haha

  13. ikillchicken - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Don’t like this move at all for the Flames. They’re gonna give up what is probably a top five draft pick and commit 5M to a guy who has yet to actually score even 20 goals. And if he does work out well, they’ll probably lose him in all of a year and a half. Plus, in the short term, even with O’Reilly, they’ll still be pretty terrible. The fact is that Calgary needs to rebuild. They’re never going to be able to acquire the quantity and quality of tallent to be competitive through signings and trades alone. They’ve tried and all it has got them is a bunch of terribly over paid and mediocre players.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      True he’s never had 20 goals but he did put up 37 assists and that would come in very handy playing with skilled scorers like Baertschi and Hudler.

      And the Flames aren’t anything close to “pretty terrible” I’d put them on the low side of average to mediocre but they’re not nearly as bad as people think and barring massive injuries they’ll remain that way, they’ll finish in that 8-11 window and likely have a pick somewhere around 10. Again the question is will the player you pick at 10 be as good as the player (proven NHLer, 55 point scorer) they could get now?

  14. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I don’t get the criticism that Calgary needs to keep the first and rebuild with young unproven draft picks when they are giving up the first round pick for a young proven player. He’s played at the NHL level and put up 55 points in a season doing so, with the way Calgary has drafted since the mid-80’s is it really better to spend that pick on a player who’s never done anything? Chances are they’d use the pick on a center that they hope turns into a Ryan O’Reilly type.

    Calgary needs an infusion of younger players, whether that’s by using that 1st round pick (and the third) and hoping they develop, or giving them up for a talented 22 year old withba proven nhl track record, they’re doing what they need to do.

  15. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Sportsnet just announced the Avalanche have matched the offer so the “terrible” contract everyone was complaining about belongs to them.

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