O’Reilly, Avalanche Face Tough Situation
Ryan O’Reilly is one of the biggest names floating around in the rumor spectrum this offseason. O’Reilly put up 55 points in 82 games this season, a drop from 64 points in 82 games the one prior. He signed a two-year, ten million contract as a restricted free agent with Calgary, but Colorado soon matched it. This is the final year on his current contract, and yet again conflict is arising with him.
A young player, O’Reilly is set to turn 25 next February. He’s spent time at center and wing, which is good for almost every single team, although his new team will likely look to him to play center. The problem with O’Reilly is the price. The small fortune it would cost to acquire O’Reilly will turn teams away, especially for only one guaranteed year. O’Reilly is also expected to demand a very high wage increase as well, and it could reach up into the 7 million range.
O’Reilly is no doubt an exceptional player. His advanced stats indicate he’s a top-six player, even a first liner on most teams. The fit with a new team, however, has to be right. The team would have to be in contention to make a deep run in the playoffs next year, or are trying to add an extra piece that gets them there, because you can’t afford to sacrifice all the assets it will take to trade for O’Reilly without an incentive.
Teams will probably dive deeper into the situation if they’re interested, as like previously stated, because they won’t want to lose him after just one year. The mutual interest has to be there, making some places a tough fit.
Some teams I could see being in on O’Reilly include Nashville, Florida, Calgary (again) and Montreal, but only if the shoes fits for both player and team. Toronto is about to commence a big rebuild, and probably doesn’t want to give up the prospects and assets that it will take to garner O’Reilly, but they could swing it if they want to give up another young roster player (like Jake Gardiner and a forward) in return.
One exception to the boundaries is Buffalo. Tim Murray has expressed his interest in acquiring O’Reilly in the past and will certainly be in on him again. Buffalo, if they can find a goalie within one or two years, isn’t as far away from competing for a playoff spot as some people expect, and O’Reilly would add to an already talented forward group.
At the end of the day, Colorado will have suitors for O’Reilly and will be able to trade him if they chose. Expect trade talk to heat up once the Finals end.