Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly and the Avs just can’t seem to hammer out a deal to bring him back to the States for training camp. He’s currently playing in Russia and doesn’t plan on coming back to the NHL with the Avalanche unless there’s a new contract waiting for him to sign on the dotted line. With the regular season approaching, is O’Reilly on his way out of the Mile High City?
Even though discussions between the Avs and O’Reilly are ongoing regarding a new contract for the 3rd year center, talks seem to be at a standstill. Things are apparently looking bleak enough for ESPN to be reporting that an NHL trade isn’t out of the question. Where could the Avs ship him to, and what kind of value is he worth to other clubs?
If I had to put my finger on the whole situation, I’d have to guess that O’Reilly may be unhappy with his current role for the Avs. Behind Stastny and Duchene on the depth chart at center, O’Reilly has been a third line center since being drafted 33rd overall in 2009. He hasn’t averaged more than 19 minutes on the ice in any of his first three seasons, and with his talent, he might have a case to argue. After totaling 52 points in his first two seasons combined, O’Reilly had 55 points in last season alone, which was the most by any Avalanche player last year. He has continued to get much better offensively and defensively every year, and maybe he thinks he deserves a more important role on this Avs squad.
Will he find a way to get a new contract figured out with the Avs and accept the role he has been given on this team? Or have we seen the last of Ryan O’Reilly in an Avalanche uniform? Only time will tell. 4 days until the regular season begins, and the Avs are going to want him on the ice.