Ryan O’Reilly‘s future with the Colorado Avalanche remains up in the air, or in this case, the thin air. The star forward and the team remain about $8 million apart on a new contract as Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports, and believes the team could trade O’Reilly rather than sign him.
Dater blames a stubborn ownership and management team for the contract dispute with O’Reilly and suggests that Avs fans had better get used to seeing the Avalanche without O’Reilly in the lineup. He refers to other star players who have butted heads with management in the past, only to see them shipped out of town.
As mentioned, the Avs and O’Reilly are roughly $8 million apart According to Dater, the Avalanche have a two-year, $7 million dollar deal on the table but the 21-year old’s desire for $5 million a season a difficult sticking point to even agree on a shorter-term deal.
A “gap” type deal is a possibility, but the two sides vary on what the value should look like. Dater thinks O’Reilly would lower his annual value from $5MM to $4MM but here again lies the difference between the two parties. The Avs don’t want to move from $3.5MM and go to $4MM, reinforcing Dater’s comments about management being stubborn.
Meanwhile, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun hears that Avs GM, Greg Sherman has already started calling around to other clubs finding out what he could possibly get for O’Reilly. Sherman hears that the early asking price is a young-forward and a second round draft pick but one would think he could get a better return for O’Reilly who led the Avalanche in scoring last year with 18 goals and 37 assists for 55 points.