When the last horn blows and the trophy’s are handed out there is still work to be done by NHL teams. The off-seasaon is when the business of hockey takes center stage, and the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly are getting ready to face-off.
O’Reilly has become a key part of the Avs, but the two sides have done this dance before. In 2012-2013 O’Reilly was a hold out, and was sign to an offer sheet by the Calgary Flames. The offer sheet may have forced the Avs front office to react quickly. In an attempt to not have history repeat it self the Avalanche have filed for club-elected salary arbitration. That seems to be only a precautionary measure.
Colorado has until the July 1st deadline to reach a deal with O’Reilly and his agent. If arbitration is needed, O’Reilly would receive no less than $5.525 million (85% of last season contract). At only 23-years-old a second stand-off could be a death-blow between the two parties. In the 2013-2014 season O’Reilly has 64 points, and frankly that production is not worth over $5 million a year.
With the rocky negotiation last time around, the Avs could be in a fight to retain a player that should be a key piece of their core for years to come. Other teams around the NHL will certainly be watching this play out with intense interest right along with nervous Avalanche fans. [CBS Sports]
The Avalanche will have $25,953,571 according to CapQeek, but they also have nine RFA/UFA’s on their roster, and that money will need to be spent wisely. Colorado can not afford to over pay O’Rielly. They will also want to resign center Paul Stastny (UFA) to a long-term deal.
The business of hockey is tricky, but stories like this are an example of how the NHL doesn’t have an off-season any more.