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Avalanche hope to stay within budget while retaining Stastny, O’Reilly

Jun 19, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche executive Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy met with the media on Thursday to discuss this offseason, which comes down to walking the tight rope as far as maintaining a balanced budget and improving their team.

Retaining restricted free agent Ryan O’Reilly and unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny at the right price stands as the biggest obstacle. Sakic at least indicated that the team intends to bring both back, if they can afford it.

“We’re hopeful we can sign (Stastny). We’ve got a structure, and he understands that,” Sakic said.

“We have a structure here, and we believe in taking care of our core guys, and Ryan and Paul are part of that.”

Earlier today, ESPN reported that contract talks are expected to intensify between the Avalanche and Stastny, 28, next week. The Avalanche backed that up during the press conference.

(You can get a better idea about Stastny’s value by reading his entry in our “UFA of the Day” series here.)

The Avalanche filed for club-elected salary arbitration with O’Reilly, 23, on Sunday. His agent said the two sides aren’t very close and made it clear that the two-way forward would prefer a long-term contract instead of the one or two-year deal he’d end up with in arbitration. Not surprisingly, the Avalanche didn’t provide many details, although Sakic didn’t close the door to getting a more substantial deal done before arbitration.

It’s easy to look at the history between O’Reilly and the Avalanche and wonder if this is a broken relationship, but Sakic at least attempted to shoot that theory down.

… Then again, maybe things are at least a little strained:

None of this is especially shocking – the Avalanche also hope to improve this summer, just like every other team – yet this unanswered question hangs as pretty interesting:

Matt Duchene‘s six-year, $30 million deal kicks in next season, for what it’s worth.

In less pertinent contract discussions, it sounds like the team is open-minded to bringing back defenseman Andre Benoit, although that might also come down to finding the right deal.

  1. hosewater2 - Jun 19, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    This is going to get ugly, and this is just the start of it.

  2. bullwinkle88 - Jun 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    I don’t see ROR staying with the team. This guy acts like a prima donna. I predict he’ll be traded within the year.

    • hosewater2 - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      As a fan of an Av rival, I think they underestimate his value relative to other players they have given big contracts to, i.e. Stastny. ROR is worth what he’s asking on the open market. Unfortunately his agent’s conduct hasn’t done anything to alleviate the primadonna perception.

  3. thatguytml92 - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Leafs should trade franson for ror I’d say that’s even. Colorados looking for a top 4 defencemen and leafs need a reliable second line centre for the future.

    • hosewater2 - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      COL will get way way better offers than just Franson.

    • dueman - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      I’m a Leafs fan, and I can definitely say that isn’t even close to being a fair trade…O’Reilly is worth more than just Franson…

  4. billiam55 - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    stastny is trying free agency.

  5. thatguytml92 - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    I say just franson because they’re both rfa. Franson in the lockout season was a better player then ror, franson helps more on the power play though. I’m not sure if Colorado was good or not on the power play but franson also is a right handed shot which is valued right now around the league

  6. lordfletcher - Jun 19, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    I see Colorado losing one for sure if not both as ROR may not sign and Stastny will get paid more to be a top 6 guy for the next 3-5 years by other teams, compared to Colorado who clearly has some young, highly skilled forwards that will soon or eventually weed Paul out of the top 6.

    Couldn’t be happier as a Wild fan as Colorado has the makings of a very good team.

    • avscup - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Perhaps you don’t understand. The Avs filed for arbitration on ROR. He will be an Av unless they trade him. Stastny has said he wants to stay and would consider a hometown discount. The Avs can afford both if each is reasonable.

      ROR is not worth much more than $6M and neither is Stas. They also signed Duchene to a 6 year $30M deal that kicks in next season helping their case in arbitration. Is ROR worth more than that? Not by the stats!

      Stastny is coming of a generous deal so perhaps he can accept a reasonable deal.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        Nope ship shape. opinion stands.

        your tears still taste great.

    • avscup - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      You obviously don’t understand what arbitration means. I guess I should have figured as such. You are not to bright eh?

      • lordfletcher - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        I completely understand what is taking place with his arbitration and in no way does that mean ROR has to accept anything from Colorado. If he choose to not play post arbitration for the Avs, they will be forced to trade him. Easy as that. So yes, it is very possible both him and Paul move on.

        and I am no expert but I assume ROR would still have to “sign” any contract that is sent his way from Sakic or the arbitrator, NHL, front office, Big Bird….

  7. avfanforlife - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    I’m starting to think that the Av’s will hold on to both and probably over-pay them by about a mil too much each. Looking at the projected cap-space, there is some breathing room and ROR would be a loss as would Stats.
    We’ll know soon enough

  8. salutethis - Jun 20, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    It’s ok, The Wild was lucky and dirty to get out of Colorado… Since Colo had Duchene getting better and his legs under him, Colo would have done better than six games vs Chicago! You can still love on cooks nuts, he gave you six games befor you cried, fletcher!

    • lordfletcher - Jun 20, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Haha. Who are you?

      Alright captain sour. Thanks for putting me in check.

      Cooke, meh. Could care less about him.

  9. dolphincult - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    pay the loyal statsny and sign/trade whiney baby the whiney dad

  10. adamal17 - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    I don’t understand how a team in the geographic region of Colorado that sells out every game to have an internal budget that isn’t the cap ceiling. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that each team is different and owners aren’t made of money, but this doesn’t look good for free agents thinking of coming to the Avs. Alfredson is a prime example of a top free agent leaving because his team has an internal budget that isn’t to the ceiling.

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