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Is the Avs – O’Reilly relationship beyond repair?

Jul 12, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild - Game Three Getty Images

Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche seem like they’re on a crash course toward what could be a very contentious salary arbitration session, but the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater wonders how much a one or two-year deal might really resolve.

(Beyond the obvious benefit of keeping a very good player around longer, of course).

Dater lays out the two sides in rather unflattering ways, believing that O’Reilly is angling for every cent he can get in a longer deal – maybe in a cavalier way, as a lot can happen in the season or two before he’d potentially hit unrestricted free agency – while the Avalanche might be guilty of  losing track of the big picture.

In other words, the team and player seem stuck in the same negotiating loop they found themselves in two years ago.

Dater’s prediction, in particular, is quite grim:

My prediction remains the same: the Avs will keep him only so long as they don’t get a great trade offer for him. There is no question, though, that they have to trade him within two years if they know they can’t sign him. O’Reilly controls the cards on that if he wants. He can reject all offers by Colorado, with the mindset of “They never valued me for what I was really worth, so screw them, I’ll leave in two years max” and essentially force the Avs to trade him before then. Otherwise, he’ll leave for nothing. Just like Paul Stastny did.

At least it’s too late for an offer sheet situation to add even more drama to the proceedings, but it presents a conundrum nonetheless.

The Avalanche may face the toughest questions. Would they be better off trading the young two-way forward now rather than dragging this situation out? Is there any way they can rebuild a bridge that, if you ask many, was burned in a big way?

Even if O’Reilly walks when he gets the chance as Dater predicts, the Avs at least have some short-term motivation to keep him around for a little longer.

The Avalanche essentially swapped younger legs (Paul Stastny, P.A. Parenteau) for experienced players who might need sheltered roles (Jarome Iginla, Daniel Briere) this summer, so keeping a borderline Selke-caliber player around could make a big difference in 2014-15.

From the sound of things, this might all end a bit ugly. It’s just a matter of how much longer the “middle” portion of this story might be.

  1. sharksfan97 - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Are the Avs trying to get worse? I was really enjoying watching this team but I find some of their recent moves questionable. I know, I know, I’m a Sharks fan so I can’t point fingers, but I need something to do while my team implodes.

    • 19to77 - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      Getting way older and losing the services of longtime core players while failing to substantially improve the defense makes this a generally disappointing offseason so far. I love Iggy. Everyone loves Iggy. But I’d sooner have ponied up the $7m for 4 years of Statsny to be honest. Regarding Parenteau for Briere… Gorges went to friggin’ Buffalo for a 2nd round pick two years from now. I’m sure Montreal could have been sold on Parenteau + a 3rd or something. Briere’s not exactly the player he used to be and besides, they need guys like Gorges much more right now.

  2. bluesdroogie - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    maybe the blues could trade Berglund and Ott for O’Rielly

    • avscup - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Throw in Stastny and I’m sure we have a deal.

      • bluesdroogie - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        ha ha ha. On a serious note I hope things work out between the Avalanche and O’Rielly. Avalanche were good last year and I would hate to see them start to slip. It does seem like O’Rielly wants out though. Just trade him and get equal or higher value back. Get a player that wants to play there.

      • avscup - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        I hoped you liked that!

        I have a feeling O’Reilly will work out unless he goes full retard(Sobotka)!

        Blues are gonna be very good this year.

      • bluesdroogie - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM

        I hate losing Sobotka, but I am interested to see Lehtera play.

        Also Blues retain 1 more year of service from Sobotka

        Hopefully this next season the Blues can dethrone The Avalanche and take the Central. It will be hard though. I think the central could send 5 teams to the playoffs. It will be one heck of a season.

        Good luck to the Avs (when not playing the Blues) and the O’Rielly situation.

      • avscup - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        It should be a great season. You never know though. A few key injuries change everything.

        Good luck to the Blues. Except against…oh never mind!

    • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:39 AM

      I read this AvsCups guy comment on another post… Must be an ignorant little fella. He thinks that Ryan O’Rielly is BOUND to re-sign with the Avs…. Sorry bud, but anything can happen and your team that is looking awfully cheap this time a year may lose another great player. Obviously he didn’t see the out come of Sobotka case.

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        Please point out where I said he is bound to re-sign?

        He will become valuable trade material! Especially when the arb gives him a manageable salary.

        It’s O’Reilly dumb azz!

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        I’m curious if you realize O’Reilly has already played in the KHL? Do you think he would leave the Avs and a minimum $5.525 contract to go back over there?

        As for the ignorant little fella comment…Ignorant is not knowing the facts and talking about the situation. Do you know the facts? You have proven that you don’t.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        You said that “the new CBA declares that he has to resign that they are only disputing the price”

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        Of course i know O’rielly played in the KHL thats why iam hinting towards he may be heading that way also… and yes. If the KHL offered him 7 million he would go there for a few seasons. WHY NOT???

    • elrock7 - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      anyone could have signed Ott.

      • bluesdroogie - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        I kinow, I just really don’t see him as a fit for the Blues and hope he gets traded as part of a deal to land someone better. Obviously Ott was not really in the Blues future until Sobotka decided on the Khl. Why they brought Ott back makes no sense seeing how the Blues still have too many players now. 15-16 forwards and 7 defense at least.

  3. adamal17 - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    If I were the Avs GM I would unfortunately be coming to the conclusion that he has to be traded…And that’s a shame. I do believe he’s GOING to be worth the money he wants; A Toews compassion; but not of his leadership caliber, only on how he plays. He’s an amazing two way player and I believe the most deserving Lady Bing winner in recent memory…and I’m a wings fan. Me saying that about an Avs player just isn’t right; but he’s one of the smartest, young players in the game. The Avs should come to the realization that he will deserve around 7-8 million over four years by the end of his contract. If they don’t want to lose him then it’s simple…PAY THE MAN. you drafted him and you’re going to be hamstringed in trades because if you don’t take care of him then other teams will only give you half of his worth in a trade since they can just throw money at him in FA in two years. The player is worth it; pay it to him.

    • bluesdroogie - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      a wings fan praising an avs player, WOW, that is the last thing I expected. Those playoffs were BRUTAL!!!!

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:08 AM

      i don’t think it’s that they specifically want to nickel and dime ryan o’reilly. there is a financial structure set in place for the “core group”, and o’reilly is asking to be the exception. yes he’s a valuable player, but they simply can not let the players start calling the shots with how much they’re going to be paid. matt duchene knowingly and cooperatively took less money than he could’ve demanded so that the team could build a competitive roster. for better or worse, everyone on the team is going to fit under that 6 million dollar mark.

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        Why is that so hard for so many to understand. It wasn’t just Duchene either. Varlamov, Landeskog, Johnson…

        In fact the Avs have never had trouble signing anyone. They let Stastny pick where he wanted to go because they didn’t feel the need to pay him $7m per. It’s part of the business of hockey. There are many factors in all decisions that so many on here don’t think about.

        Duchene is the 1c, 2c could be O’Reilly or Mackinnon, how do you then pay a 3c $7m?

    • polegojim - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      ROR is exciting on offense, but very soft and BARELY a 2-way player. He wears a short skirt while skating, avoiding contact at every opportunity and is a defensive liability

      Roy is building a team that possesses grit and attitude.

      Man up or ship out.

  4. areaman714 - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    ROR appears to be “attituding” himself out of a big money contract. He does not have near the body of work behind him to go prima donna . . .

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      The Avs were never gonna give him a big money deal to begin with. They’ve made that painfully clear. In their effort to maintain a rigid salary structure they’re pushing out some key players. The $6 million that Duchene makes is the absolute limit (understandably so), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Avs don’t wanna go above $5. And if that’s true I think they’re playing with fire. ROR is a clear top-6, two way player. If Colorado doesn’t want to fairly compensate him (according to today’s crazy market) then they’re only hurting themselves. I keep seeing Avs fans acting as if he’s expendable… sure they have some scary forwards but they’ve already lost Stastny and pushing ROR out the door represents a big decline. Especially when you’re replacing them with aging players like Iginla and Briere.

      If he doesn’t get suitable compensation in Colorado you can be sure there will be multiple teams lining up, with big deals, to bring him in.

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:55 AM

        i’m certainly panicking. i don’t want to see him go at at all, but management kind of has to stand their ground here. gabe, the team’s captain, gets paid less than duchene does. o’reilly can’t win this battle. from management’s perspective, it’s lose him or lose the team.

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        He is for sure a top 6 on any team. But how do you know the Avs don’t want to go above $5M? Their only choices were a Qualifying offer of $6.5 or Arbitration. Is ROR a $6.5 player? I don’t think so and neither does Sakic.

        All that will matter is what the Arb thinks. My bet is somewhere between $5.5 & $6M. The Avs will pay it and see if O’Reilly is happy with that. If all he wants is the money, then that can get pretty tenuous and perhaps his talents are better served elsewhere.

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Except they didn’t replace with Iginla or Briere? Iginla is a right wing and power forward that they haven’t had in a long time. He put up 30 goals last year and those that know say he can still play. Just ask all the Boston fans that wanted him re-signed! Briere was a swap for Parenteau and his bad contract. He sucked and was in Roy’s doghouse. Brier brings experience and a hard work ethic. Both “aging” players will add depth and valuable experience to a very young team.

        It’s a model that works. Look at ALL recent SC Cha,ps!

      • areaman714 - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        I agree with your position quite a bit. He is not yet proven to be within 1.5 million dollars of guys like Getzlaf, Malkin, etc. Having said that, he is worth much more than a Niskanen. Yeah I know he is a defenseman; just making a point. If the Avs give into ROR, they also have some

      • areaman714 - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Construed. They also have some other studs that will want to be paid as well.

      • zacmelvinmcnutt - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        Oh really? The 6 mil that Duchene makes is the “absolute limit”, and the Avs don’t wanna go above 5? Please, tell me, how exactly do you know this? Do you happen to work in the Avs’ front office?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        I don’t have to be in the front office, all I have to do is use common sense. The Avs have been preaching for several years about their salary structure… it’s what caused so many problems the last time ROR was looking for a contract. At the top of the salary structure is Duchene (their star) and Landeskog (their captain), they’re not gonna go above that. If they were they would’ve given him that qualifying offer. As for the five limit I said “I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t wanna go above” that, not they aren’t going above five. It’s a big difference. Still, you don’t think if Colorado offered a two year, eleven million dollar contract that ROR would be ok with that? I believe he would be satisfied and then prepare for his real big contract when he’s a UFA. If the Avs were willing to offer that I believe this dilemma would be over but it appears as if they’ve been on this long term quest to lowball ROR.

        As for Iginla and Briere… sure Iginla brings something the team has been missing on the wing but you’re also losing speed and creativity. As for Briere over Parenteau, it’s a downgrade. Parenteau’s contract was good to get rid of but Briere is not a better player at this point. I’ve watched Briere for a longtime and Parenteau as well. The Avs are not a better team, yet they’re surrounded in the West by teams that added some major contributors (Dallas, St Louis, Anaheim). Their D is still questionable and it’s a lot to ask Varlamov to come up with a herculean effort again over sixty+ games. They still have playoff talent but I’d be surprised if they reached the same point total next season.

  5. mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    I think every one is smoking too much weed out there in the Rockies…. How can you let Stastny and now possibly O’rielly go? Dont have that much depth to immediately replace both.

    If this doesn’t get done or end well this might be another hurtful year for the avs after a great year last.

    • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      How do you pay a 3c $7M? Stastny was going to be the third center. Then there is the salary cap. They couldn’t pay Statsny and O’Reilly and Barrie and a few others needing to be signed! It’s very simple to understand unless you are so mentally challenged as to not get the salary cap.

      They are not letting O’Reilly go. He is entering binding arbitration! He’s a restricted free agent for 2 years! They may trade him if the relationship does not improve but one thing is certain, you don’t get how it works.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Yeah, No sh** Sherlock…. I knew stastny was leaving. Thats what i am saying….. They cant screw this up which looks like they already had. Everyone and their grandmother knew stastny was hitting free agency. They need to resign O’rielly.

  6. avfanforlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Agree. I don’t think anything happens prior to this going to arbitration. I’m hoping that he does get a raise that is substantial enough that ROR goes for the 2 years instead of one. I personally think it will come in slightly less than a 6mil cap hit per year though.
    One thing I have noticed about Ryan is that he really seems to be able to keep the business side of all of this separate from his performance on the ice and in the locker room. I have never seen or heard of any animosity between him and the other players, he is always last off the ice (well, when Jiggy isn’t), and he ALWAYS is playing at 110% if not more! 6 to 6 1/2 mil would have been fine if the team could have locked him up long term… We’ll never know for sure what was offered exactly, but I hope he is with us for at least the next two seasons. We’ll know in a week or so…

    • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      So much speculation on here and uninformed posters. You are correct about his attitude and effort. He is leaving the business side of it to his agent. Sometimes that’s trouble though. The player can direct the negotiations by saying, “I want to be here, let’s get it done so it’s a win-win!”

      He won’t be getting a raise over the $6.5 he was at but it should be a number he should be happy with. We will know soon enough if he really wants to help the team or himself. That is the bottom line. You can’t just always pay what every player wants and stay within the framework of a team structure and salary cap.

      What makes me laugh are all the morons that say the Avs are being cheap. They are gonna be at the cap when this is over and Barrie gets re-signed! How could they have paid Stastny and O’Reilly and still add Stuart and get Barrie signed?

      • avfanforlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        Yes, It will come in under 6mil for sure. Just pray for 2 seasons… I was saying that I think he is worth 6 – 6.5 long term though because there is nothing that I can see that would convince me that he couldn’t be our leading scorer this year. MacKinnon and Duchene and ROR will go 1,2,3… order just depends on who stays healthiest. (Really looking forward to MacKinnon kicking some serious @ss this year!!)

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Looking at the prospect of Jerome helping Duchene, Mackinnon, ROR and Landy gets me excited. Think what he must have thought when approached by Joe. Then there is the fact he can be reunited with Tanguay.

        I’d have Tangs-Duchy-Iggy, Landy-Mackinnon-ROR, McGinn-Mitchell-Winchester, Bordy-Briere-Mcleod.

        Then you have Cliche, Talbot, Carey, Hishon and anyone coming up that impresses enough in camp. There is good depth. Never know when someone is going to step up and do more than expected.

        Kinda means that there will be some movement of some guys.

    • mb30forlife - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      AvsFanForLIfe gets it…. AvsCup is a retard…..

      • avscup - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        Wait and see what happens. I would expect you to cower in you’re mommt’s basement when all is said and done. A true Devils fan Moro. Like many on here.

        Full on douche bag!

  7. hosewater2 - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Bottom line: 29 other teams will pay him more than what Matt Duchene is making.

    • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      That’s funny because there aren’t 29 other teams with cap space. A major detail if you understand!

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Yeah. But they can get him and trade dead weight for a draft pick…. Exactly what Chicago is going to do brainiac

      • hosewater2 - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        Winners make cap space to make deals for players like ROR.

        Losers let them walk for nothing.

        Have I simplified it enough for you?

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Exactly why the Avs have enough space for him and why they won’t let him walk for nothing.

        It will never be simple enough for you. I realize the CBA might be way above your level of comprehension. Try to pay attention though.

    • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      Matt Duchene 337 NHL regular season games, 105 goals, 158 assists, 263 points, .78 ppg! One Olympic gold medal!

      Ryan O’Reilly 345 NHL regular season games, 73 goals, 118 assists, 191 points, .55 ppg. No International nothin!

      Hang out by your phone, i’m sure there will be an opening for a savvy GM coming up shortly.

      Dumb (hosewater2) and Dumber (mb30forlife) coming to a distressed NHL club near you!

      • mb30forlife - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        Yeah but points aren’t everything…. Yes Matt Duchene is a better offensive player than ROR. Thats a no brainer….. BUT when you need a guy that can get into the dirty areas of the ice digging the puck off the boards or just simply laying a hit. WHO DO YOU WANT???? ROR or lil ‘ol Matt Duchene?

        With out guys that have a little grit to them you are just a team like Edmonton and you obviously don’t realize that guys like ROR make a lot of those goals and plays to the net happen for guys like Duchene. You know NOTHING of real hockey. You just read stats and believe you know everything there is to know. Go read a book and try building a house or do brain surgery. Let me know how that works out for ya

      • avscup - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        um…have you watched any hockey or the Avs? I am a season ticket holder. I also played through college. You? I’ll be happy to match hockey careers with your little self.

        Let’s discuss that grit that Duchene doesn’t have and ROR does. ROR= 6″ 200lbs. Little old Matt Duchene= 5’11 200Lbs. You know how much an inch is right? It’s in your hands a lot!

        All that grit that Ryan O’Reilly has led to TWO MINUTES in the 2013-14 season. It was for playing with a broken stick. They are both great players and

        I hope the Avs work out a solution with ROR. If not, perhaps he can bring all his grit to your favorite team. Is that the Devils? BTW, one of my high school team mates was a crowd favorite for the Devils and one of my college team mates scored a lot of goals their. You ever play with anyone besides yourself?

      • avscup - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        As for the brain surgery, when are you ready? I think I can help you.

    • arisenow - Jul 14, 2014 at 1:23 AM

      Not really. If I’m not mistaken, Toews & Kane are going to get paid 6.++ this coming season, which is the end of their contract before their new 10M++ will kick in. Anyway, O’Reilly is good but if you’re going to use Toews as a measuring stick, I don’t think he’s worth 6.5M.

  8. cliffatola - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    The Flames created this mess and the Avs let Stastny walk away. O’Reilly has a little leverage but the fact he is a restricted free agent there isn’t much he can do at this point, if he bolts to the KHL the Avs will retain his rights so he’ll have to come back through Colorado at some point to return to the NHL.

    • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      I’m glad you tried to explain that to dumb and dumber. I gave up.

      • cliffatola - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:26 AM


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