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Sakic says there was ‘never any animosity’ between Avs and O’Reilly

Jul 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

Joe Sakic AP

“There was never any animosity between us this whole time. Any of the perceived animosity came from the outside.”

That was Joe Sakic today, to the Denver Post, after the Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract, avoiding a potentially nasty arbitration hearing in the process.

Sakic, Colorado’s executive VP of hockey ops, also said the Avs want to keep O’Reilly “long-term” and that “we’ll keep working at it and see what happens.”

The “perceived animosity” remark was an interesting one, though — particularly after what O’Reilly’s agent, Pat Morris, said in June, when he went on the radio and suggested the Avs were playing with fire in their negotiations with his client.

Now, granted, RFA negotiations are often contentious, with both sides holding leverage. But O’Reilly’s last negotiation with the Avs got “ugly,” too. And while Sakic wasn’t around for that one, he still wasn’t able to get the 23-year-old signed to a long-term deal this time around.

If anything, O’Reilly’s new two-year deal provides time, and maybe a bit of goodwill. He’ll be eligible to sign a long-term extension next summer, something both sides have said they want, if only for a difference in opinion on compensation.

  1. avfanforlife - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Now sign Barrie and let’s play some hockey!!!

    • avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      For sure. Get it done.

  2. pjblake2redwings - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    The Avs better trade him after this year to avoid him leaving for free

  3. clayman61 - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    It’s just a matter of time before ROR is gone. I don’t believe he has any intention of staying in Colorado, and never has.

    • avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      I don’t believe you have any idea!

    • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      this whole contract fiasco is a bit unnerving, but in the five years since he was drafted he has never said anything except for that he loves colorado and wants to be a part of the avalanche organization. sure that’s just talk and his recent actions don’t really fall in line with that, but i do think that he genuinely wants to be here.

      • avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        What fiasco? It’s just a part of negotiating and it got done.

        I think you are right though about ROR wanting to be here.

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        a twenty three year old player narrowly avoiding a second arbitration because he thinks he deserves more than what the franchise has explicitly stated it will give its core players? i think you’re losing sight of the fact that this has happened before. he could have just taken his six million like everyone else from the very beginning and avoided all of this drama and potential damage to his reputation.

      • avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        I am not losing sight of anything. The last go around the Avs were being a little too cheap and didn’t really think an offer sheet would happen. There was no arbitration! This time around they had two choices. A qualifying offer of $6.5 or arbitration. Only the two sides know what they were originally motivated to do but the fact remains after the Avs followed protocol, they gave a fair offer and ROR accepted. Filing for arb allowed the sides to come together…the ultimate goal of arbitration.

        I think all the drama is in the heads of people who have nothing to do with the deal… and the media.

        It doesn’t seem like there was much drama at all for the Avs, ROR or Joe Sakic. The deal got done and agreed to on their terms.

        It’s just the business side of contracts and the NHL.

  4. avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    So much speculation by people that have no clue. I don’t for a second think Sakic is anything other than truthful. What Pat Morris says is part of his job for his client and the negotiation process. Sakic was basically silent through all this except to say, we want Ryan O’Reilly on our team and O’Reilly said he wants to be part of the team.

    It seems they each meant that. The parties to the contract agreed and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day. How they arrived there is irrelevant.

    I remember so many saying O’Reilly was gone after his offer sheet from Calgary. Or that the Avs were being cheap, blah, blah, blah.

    It’s done and i’m sure each side is happy. A 23 year old kid made $6.5M last season and will make $12 over the next two. Anyone think he is bitter? I don’t think the Avs are bitter at all. Sakic did his job, Pat Morris did his job and ROR has done a great job.

    He gets to be part of a great young team and the sky’s the limit on his future.

    • i1theinternet - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      “So much speculation by people that have no clue…I don’t for a second think Sakic is anything other than truthful…It seems they each meant that…It’s done and i’m sure each side is happy.”

      Reads to me like you’re one of those people.

  5. juliath83 - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Man, Sakic is one fugly dude.

    • antkowiak666 - Jul 23, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      …and i suppose you are God’s gift to women!?

      • avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        Julia is a woman.

  6. avscup - Jul 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Jason, would you post a link to the “playing with fire comment?”

    I might have missed that but I don’t remember seeing it. I could easily be wrong though.

    • avscup - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Can’t post it because it was never said. Another reason why the perception was this was a contentious negotiation.

      Reporters trying fan the flames that are not there.

      • jernster21 - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        Jason didn’t put those words in anyone’s mouth, his comment states that the comments below SUGGEST as much.

        “We had some warning that the arb might be taken advantage of. It’s within the CBA. Ryan understands that. He also understands that it’s unique, that no player has been arbed for a pay cut that is of his stature.”

        “Ryan is unrestricted in two years, and under the model now, given that Colorado has arbed him, short-term looks like what the future is for Ryan going forward, possibly year to year or for the next two years….some people might look a little sideways that a team has done that to a special player, but they certainly have the business right to do that and Ryan is mature, but there’s a history a little bit on the previous contract and Ryan is a stubborn young man.”

      • avscup - Jul 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        I kkow what was said…I listened to the whole interview.

        My point is the contentious contract negotiations were mostly perceptions passed on by the media. They weren’t bad negotiations and at the end of the day, both sides are happy.

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