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Colorado rocky? Columnist suggests feud between O’Reilly, Duchene

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.

Earlier, defenseman Shane O’Brien said the situation had “gotten ugly.”

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.

  1. travishenryskid - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I would be mad too if a less productive co-worker that was hired at the same time as me with less credentials made a stink and ended up being paid 30% more than me.

    • lsxphotog - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      When I heard he was looking for more than Duchene, I was a little agitated. This is nobody fault other than Ryan’s. Matt is a great player, he dropped off last year, yes, but has pure star potential. He showed some class signing the short deal for “smallish” money because he thinks he can prove to be a 5-million a year guy over the next two seasons. Ryan? He thinks he’s a 5-mill guy now and wasn’t going to come back until he got it. Pretty crappy. Throws off the mood in the room too, as you see here. He’s simply NOT worth that.

      These young guys holding out never look good.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      ^^^ Ryan O’Reilly with the only thumbs down

      • ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        lsxphotog, damn you. commented seconds before me and threw off my reference. thanks a LOT.

        lol jk jk

  2. ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    somebody please set these guys up with another glamor shot appointment… that should smooth over some tensions.

  3. 4helderor4worst - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Don’t be surprised if he’s not traded at the end of the year or at the deadline even.

    • esracerx46 - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      I dont believe either player can be traded. I know Oreilly can’t because of the rules of the offer sheet. Must wait at least one year after it was matched. As far as Duchene their might be a rule that states something similar.

      • sjawesome - Mar 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        I don’t think there is a rule in place for trading Duchene. The sharks had a trade situation a few summers ago with devin setogucci (then a young RFA). They signed him two a three year deal and about a week later shipped him off to Minnesota as part of the package in the Bret burns deal. I am pretty sure Duchane is fair game as far as being traded. The ave’s would be stupid to even consider trading him though

    • bcsteele - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      When the Avs matched the offer for O’Reilly they have to keep him for at least a year per the CBA and therefore can’t be moved before this years deadline.

      • hockeyflow33 - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        He actually can’t be traded until after next season because the one year ends after next season’s trade deadline, (I think by like a day or two).

  4. esracerx46 - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Why would Duchene be mad at Oreilly? Is it Oreilly’s fault he got paid? If it’s money they’re “feuding” about then I think it’s more jealousy than anything. If I were Duchene and I feel like a guy less talented than I is going to average 1.5 million more for the next 2 years, I would have already fired my agent.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      I think it’s about the way they went about renegotiating their deals. Duchene took a modest deal in the best interest of his club. While O’Reilly selfishly held out for a bigger paycheck. Doing this not only hurt the relationship between O’Reilly and management, it hurt the entire Avs organization. They started out slowly and there’s no question that if O’Reilly had compromised on a deal and got to camp on time the Avs would have a few more wins. I think Duchene may look at as if O’Reilly deserted the team for selfish reasons. Plus making way more for less production doesn’t help.

  5. misterchainbluelightning - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Both players are too young and have too few accomplishments to be acting the ways it is suggested. If true I wouldn’t want either on my team and the Avs would be better off moving on from both players.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      No doubt Avs fans thumbs down this, they never paid their dues as hockey fans. Lil fact for them, Sakic would have NEVER allowed Duchene to whine about O’Reilly to this point. Sakic would have crushed this bullcrap and if they didn’t change they wouldn’t been shipped outta town.

      • jernster21 - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Try english next time.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 7, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        You’re too stupid to understand?

  6. blackfoot11 - Mar 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I’m sure Duchene’s agent has told him the O’Reilly deal is actually a blessing in disguise, as two years from now he use this as a bargaining chip to cash in for alot more money.

  7. LampyB - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Phillyphanatic is right, duchene doesnt care as much about the money thats why he signed quickly. O’Reilly put himself before the team purely for more money. Hurt them in the standings, and prob also causes awkwardness in the dressing room. The whole father fiasco made it worse. The Avs want to win, and O’Reilly just wants a fat paycheck.

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