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Now signed, O’Reilly apologizes for situation

Mar 1, 2013, 8:57 AM EDT

Gabriel Landeskog #92 (R) of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his powerplay goal at 5:35 of the second period along with Ryan O'Reilly #37 (L) in their game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on March 14, 2012 in Buffalo, New York.
(March 13, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Ryan O’Reilly signed an offer sheet with the Calgary Flames yesterday that comes with an average annual value of $5 million and will pay him $6.5 million in 2013-14.

Mere hours later, the Colorado Avalanche matched it, which means the organization and player are stuck together for at least a year.

That might be awkward considering the Avalanche previously balked at O’Reilly’s contract demands and his father wrote a scathing email to the Denver Post, blasting the organization and how it handled contract negotiations.

Then again, both sides might be able to put this all behind them.

O’Reilly took a step in that direction when he said via Twitter, “Sorry to everyone about the situation. I’m very glad to say that it is over and I now can focus on what I love to do.”

The 22-year-old two-way center also expressed his excitement at the prospect of joining “back up with the boys” and playing in front of the Avalanche fans.

Before this, he reportedly was offered and rejected the same two-year, $7 million contract that Matt Duchene got. Now O’Reilly will make nearly double Duchene in 2013-14.

When asked if he thought O’Reilly’s deal was a “little outrageous,” Duchene sidestepped the question.

“It’s not my job to worry about that,” Duchene told the Denver Post. “My job is to go play hockey. So, that’s management’s job.”

At the same time, Duchene also said that it will be good to get O’Reilly back in the room.

“We’re all friends with him and it’s going to be good to have him back,” Duchene said.

Related:

O’Reilly offersheet: ‘Now we can move forward as a hockey club’ says Avs GM

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

Colorado responds after Flames offer sheet O’Reilly

Flames sign O’Reilly to offer sheet

Ryan O’Reilly’s dad thinks the Avs don’t value character

O’Reilly’s dad blasts Avs management via Twitter

‘It’s gotten ugly,’ says Avs player on O’Reilly contract dispute

Report: Avs want roster player, top prospect for O’Reilly

  1. antkowiak666 - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    I don’t think Duchene is too thrilled to have him back,judging by his post game interview on NHL Network last night.
    I would love to be in the locker room the first time O’Reilly walks in.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      I agree, it seems like he was pissed that they were asking him numerous questions about O’Reilly instead of talking about the Avs team that has been playing. I’m sure he went into the interview thinking that they’d care about his game-winning goal in a nice comeback win. Instead they peppered him with questions about a guy who’s basically deserted his team in search for more money. Although I think it would’ve been easier to just pay O’Reilly (since he got the deal he wanted anyway, after missing plenty of time for nothing), I don’t think the team is very happy with his selfish actions.

  2. mclovinhockey - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Players hate when others act like like he did.
    You are making a ton of money to play a game. Don’t screw over your team mates for a little extra cash

  3. polegojim - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Well… I also think it was poor… but it wasn’t a ‘little’ extra cash. It was significant.

    No matter what – the guy is a gamer, period. The players will get over it quickly as his impact is immediately felt on a team with major ups and downs.

  4. 950003cups - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    NHL is becoming worse than the NFL. I understand NFL players holding out, they don’t have guaranteed contracts like they do in hockey.

    Avs blew the chance to let him go to Calgary. A first and third pick from a bad team could bare a lot of fruit.

    I can’t see the fans opposing management for letting him go.

    Instead, management risks looking stupid if O’Reilly doesn’t perform at a ridiculously high level that he hasn’t reached before.

    How many Avs fans are gonna look at Calgary’s first and third picks this year, just because?

  5. pone27 - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    From a fan perspective, O’Reilly looks like a complete **** for doing what he did. If I was an Avs fan, I would be pretty ticked about everything from the holdout, to the contract itself.

    From a business perspective, O’Reilly was smart. He wanted what he wanted, and did his way in showing that the Avs brass were bluffing on the terms the whole time. Clearly O’Reilly knew that the Avs value him very highly and he wanted the cash.

    My thoughts on it: Avs got ripped off

  6. tfaltin - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Bottom line is that O’Reilly will earn any respect he lost back with his play. You can look at the picks the Avs would have gotten from Calgary and think “maybe the next Galchenyuk,” but it could just as easily turn into a bust. Fact is O’Reilly is already a proven commodity that every team needs to have success. Between a dynamic playmaker in Duchene, and a Selke style center in O’Reilly, the Avs are building a great team up front with depth down the middle. The rest of the squad may not be there yet, but they have the next Krejci and Bergeron. Who wouldn’t want to have Duchene, Landeskog, and O’Reilly to build a team around?

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Probably the best assessment of the situation I’ve read so far. Clearly the Avs did want O’Reilly, and they’re notorious for being cheap. At some point, somebody yells “S*** or get off the pot” and I think the Avs were smart to take him. Plus, it’s only for 2 years. The “prove yourself” contracts handed out to guys like Giroux and Duchene seem to work out well. With that contract, O’Reilly now needs to prove he can play at that level.

  7. thehighcountrybear - Mar 1, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Five million per based on an eighteen goal season…? Unreal…who even heard of this guy until his dad got involved [. creeping case of Lindros syndrome by all accounts ]. Still, in a city where they still cheer routine icing calls, pretty much anything will pass for excellence. Now, rather than inheriting a ready-made Cup contender, they’ll have to actually build a team…

  8. kingsforever - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    ROR apology denied

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