Mar 1, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
The knives are out in Colorado.
You knew they would be after the Avalanche matched Calgary’s offer sheet for forward Ryan O’Reilly. Not because the Avs matched, but rather, because the club had its hand forced on its own player.
Here’s the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla teeing off on Colorado general manager Greg Sherman and team president Pierre Lacroix.
Let’s be honest: Colorado management wanted O’Reilly gone far away from Denver, with the team privately bad-mouthing both the player and his family. Now, the Avs are stuck with paying the popular 22-year-old center at least 40 percent more than a previous take-it-or-leave-it proposal, all because the Calgary Flames broke NHL etiquette and stuck Colorado with a hefty offer sheet.
The bottom line: Dilly-dallying instead of closing a trade to bring a top four defenseman to Colorado in return for O’Reilly, the Avalanche let their payroll structure be set by a general manager in Calgary, of all people.
Once the most feared franchise in the NHL, the Avs now could, and maybe should, be the laughingstock of hockey.
Kiszla’s conclusion? “It’s obvious what Colorado management is doing to restore lost hockey glory hasn’t worked. It’s time for the Avs to overhaul the whole way they do business.”
What the Flames did (yesterday), essentially, was potentially blow out the Avs’ salary structure in the next couple years. The Avs let the Flames set the market for O’Reilly’s value – and they had to swallow their pride and accept it because gambling that they’d get a lottery pick with the Flames’ first-round pick this year was too poor a prospect. How awful would it have been for this team if they’d not only let O’Reilly go to Calgary, but then gotten a worse draft pick maybe thanks to his helping them out the rest of the year in the standings? It would have been a humiliating blow.
And today was humiliating enough for Avs management. They clearly gambled that nobody would break the offer sheet code that most teams live by – especially in the year after a lockout – and that they would be able to dictate to O’Reilly what his market value would be, not the other way around. Well, guess what? They lost that bet.
Meanwhile, in Calgary, Flames general manager Jay Feaster might have a few things to explain as well.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:54 AM EDT
“Corey has been great for us all year, all playoffs.”
Jun 20, 2013, 12:44 AM EDT
It boils down to mistakes of all kinds.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:41 AM EDT
What a difference one goal makes.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:37 AM EDT
He played less than three minutes in Game 4.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:25 AM EDT
“If he sees the puck, he’s going to be almost impossible to beat.”
Jun 19, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
His middle name isn’t “Game Over.” We checked.
Jun 19, 2013, 11:40 PM EDT
It’s now 2-2 after an exciting 6-5 thriller.
Jun 19, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT
The Bruins won’t give up.
Jun 19, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
… And there were plenty of other close calls.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:22 PM EDT
Vancouver Canucks would appreciate the cap space.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:06 PM EDT
Michal Handzus scores first, Rich Peverley ties it.
Jun 19, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The money part has been settled, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Jun 19, 2013, 8:14 PM EDT
In case you were worrying about another late scratch.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT
The Swede wasn’t getting benched during playoff games, for one.
Jun 19, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT
Tough timing for free agent Mason Raymond.
Jun 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
37-year-old ‘tender ready to call it a career.
Jun 19, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT
That’s a picture of Mike Komisarek.
Jun 19, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma considered to be a favorite for the position.
Jun 19, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT
Which could be why they end up swapping coaches.
Jun 19, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT
The players’ union and Board of Governors will vote near the end of the exhibition campaign.
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