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That was fast: Avs match Calgary’s offer sheet for O’Reilly

Feb 28, 2013, 9:39 PM EDT


Just a few hours after Calgary announced it had signed Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet, the Colorado Avalanche announced they matched it.

In a brief statement posted to the team website, the Avs confirmed they’ve agreed to match a two-year deal with an average annual value of $5 million. O’Reilly, 22, will have a salary of $1 million for this season, plus a $2.5 million signing bonus.

Next season, he will be paid $6.5 million.

Had the Avalanche not matched, they would’ve received Calgary’s first- and third-round picks in the 2013 NHL draft as compensation.

But the Avs did match, a development that should provide some interesting moments.

The potential for awkwardness is off the charts considering how soured the relationship between O’Reilly and the organization has become — last week, O’Reilly’s father wrote a scathing email to the Denver Post, blasting the organization and how it handled contract negotiations. Earlier, defenseman Shane O’Brien said the situation had “gotten ugly.”

That said, it didn’t take long for Colorado to decide O’Reilly was worth $10 million dollars.

The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater reports the Avs decided to match Calgary’s offer sheet after “about two hours” after consultation with ownership. It also ensures that Colorado will retain O’Reilly for at least a calendar year, as teams aren’t eligible to trade players for a full season after matching an offer sheet.

So, looking ahead, Colorado can’t trade O’Reilly until Feb. 28, 2014 — a curious date, given the 2012 NHL trade deadline was Feb. 27 and the year before, it was Feb. 28.

Of course, the 2014 trade deadline could be bumped if NHLers participate in the Winter Olympics in Sochi (in 2010, the deadline was on Mar. 3.)

Another aspect to consider is what Colorado will be faced with by the contract’s end. In 2014, O’Reilly will still be a RFA and coming off a year in which he earned $6.5 million, meaning any qualifying offer must be at least that much.

  1. qauzaq - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I think the Av’s made a mistake. He’s not worth that contract and it doesn’t even seem like his teammates want him. I would have taken the picks.

  2. killerpgh - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    I’m shocked by them matching.

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Woud have been nice to have him but c’est la vie, hopefully Feaster uses the picks wisely.

  4. jovocop2112 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    You want to talk about awkward, lets see how him and Duchene treat each other in the locker room. At the end of the day, O’Rielly wasnt worth it. And the fact that it took ‘about 2 hours’ for the ownership to decide to cough up the money, after months and months of trying to deciding he didnt deserve a big deal just proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they truly are as idiotic and incompetent as every has been saying they are. There was an opportunity here to take 2 high picks and continue with the ‘youth movement’ they’ve been setting up, and instead opt to finally sign a player who almost assuredly does not want to be on the team anymore.

  5. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    I like what O’Reilly brings but I think this is a mistake. There’s so much contention between the entire O’Reilly entourage and Avs management that this could lead to problems. They’re overpaying him, which could also create contention in the locker room. If I was the Avs GM I’d take the picks, especially since in two years the qualifying offer has to be atleast $6.5 million. I guess that’s why I’m not a GM. But having two potentially high picks in this draft could’ve been great for the Avs rebuild.

  6. jernster21 - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I don’t see this becoming a problem – people could be pissed at Stastny for his contract and the output associated with it but hasn’t ever been a problem based on contracts signed since then (especially considering it wasn’t Sherman who signed off on it.) I don’t feel like hockey players have the egos that NBA/NFL players have – by gones are by gones and at the end of the day the team is better with O’Reilly than without and GS made a move to make the team better. Drafts picks don’t always pan out out and O’Reilly is a mid/late. It’s easy to be bitter about the situation when you’re sitting on the couch doing nothing and having too much time to think about it – when O’Reilly gets back into the swing of things it’s not going to matter anymore. As far as what happens down the road, who knows – either O’Reilly lives up to the pay day he just got or he doesn’t and hurts his own value going forward, it’s up to him.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      I agree with you on all parts. These guys are professionals, they’re there to do a job and it doesn’t matter what anyone’s contract is.

      Just saw an interesting note, it was 14 years ago today the Flames and Avalanche made the Theo Fleury trade, something about those two teams and this day.

  7. govtminion - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    So you gave up a first and third round pick- from CALGARY- to bring in a guy who has openly not wanted to play in Denver anymore… and for the kind of money HE wanted… thus totally negating having him sit for half of a season… AND you’re going to possibly not be able to move him at the trade deadline next season?

    I’m actually impressed. It must take effort to be this flamingly boneheaded.

    • woodstakes - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      Thanks man… you said everything I wanted to say!!

    • 19to77 - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM

      For everyone but Mike Milbury and Scott Howson, it does.

  8. billsin20xx - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    The biggest bonehead move was not making a trade before he got an offer. I’ll bet they are kicking themselves for turning down any other offer they had…

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