Despite winning two games in a row, the Colorado Avalanche would be a better team with Ryan O’Reilly in the lineup. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the Avalanche management team as they are in no rush to cave to O’Reilly’s contract demands. And so the restricted free agent continues to sit at home and wait for the phone to ring with hopes of a new contract offer being made by the club. But judging by reports out of Denver, O’Reilly better not get his hopes up.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports via Twitter that the talks between the O’Reilly camp and the Avs have broken off and there is nothing new to report.
“Nothing new at all” on O’Reilly, says agent Mark Guy. Ergo, talks have broken off for now
— adater (@adater) February 4, 2013
O’Reilly wants a multi-year deal that will pay him around $5 million annually while the Avs are offering in the range of $2.5 million for two years. It’s being deemed a “gap” type contract that will make O’Reilly earn his next substantial raise in what would be two years. It’s also a way for the Avs to protect themselves by ensuring O’Reilly is worth the type of money he may garner in two years, should he continue to produce offensively the way he has through his first three seasons in the NHL.
Last season the 21-year old led the Avalanche in scoring with 18 goals and 55 points and has accumulated 107 career points in 236 games.
O’Reilly is using contracts that Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars recently got along with John Tavares of the New York Islanders, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes and Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs as a measuring stick.
Meanwhile Avalanche management appear to be in no rush to sign O’Reilly and have shot down recent talk about possibly trading the former 2nd round draft pick. Meaning this contract dispute could go on for a while, further mounting pressure on both sides.
If the Avs continue to win without him, O’Reilly will want to get back on the ice and be a part of it. If the club struggles, O’Reilly could be in the drivers seat and get closer to what he’s asking for.