Mar 7, 2013, 12:05 PM EDT
Is there animosity within the Avalanche dressing room?
According to the Denver Post, it sure feels that way.
The are reportedly hard feelings between centers Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly, once the closest of buddies.
The two broke in together as 18-year-old rookies in 2009-10, but their relationship appears fractured after O’Reilly held out before the Avs matched a two-year, $10 million offer sheet he signed with Calgary.
Duchene, meanwhile, re-upped with Colorado on a modest two-year, $7 million deal in June.
Here’s more, from Mike Chambers of the Post:
I’m not sure they even speak to each other now. After the Avs regained O’Reilly’s services by matching the Calgary Flames’ offer sheet for the restricted free agent and holdout a week ago, Duchene used only quick, politically correct answers to sum up his feelings about O’Reilly’s pending arrival.
On multiple occasions, he said “each player has his brand” and O’Reilly is “a good player.”
Tuesday in Detroit, Duchene opened up to an ESPN reporter as I pulled out the video camera for some blog material. By Wednesday the video was being played across North America, and people undoubtedly began to notice why Duchene has a beef with O’Reilly.
Here’s the video in question:
The ‘money’ quote from Duchene, so to speak…
“For me, I don’t care about any of that. I just want to play hockey. If I did look at it that way, maybe I would have done what he did.
“But I signed in June and I love being an Av, everything about it. I love cheering for this team and that’s all that matters for me.”
It’s easy to see why Duchene would be frustrated with how the situation played out. Aside from affecting the Avs on the ice — O’Reilly missed the first 19 games of the year — it also caused havoc off it.
The Calgary offer sheet fiasco put the Avs (and Flames) in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, with media folk chiding both organizations for how poorly the situation was handled.
Prior to the offer sheet being signed, O’Reilly’s father wrote a scathing email to the Denver Post, blasting the Avs organization and how it handled contract negotiations.
What’s not helping things is that the Avs are losing. They have just one win in their last seven and only scored four goals in their last three, which only adds to the frustration level.
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 14
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 15
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 29
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 43
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 63
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 34
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (43)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal (39)