Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche are in a bit of a sticky situation with contract talks once again. Prior to the 2012-13 season they were unable to get a deal done and O’Reilly and the Calgary Flames signed an offer sheet worth $5 million. The Avs matched the deal, but are now in more contract troubles with the young star forward.
The Avalanche have filed arbitration against O’Reilly to help settle these contract disputes over his salary. The problem is simple, O’Reilly wants more money than the Avs want to offer because they want to keep both him and Paul Stastny. The arbitration was filed so O’Reilly could be forced to take a pay cut.
Needless to say, O’Reilly and his agent are not too happy about the arbitration because, “now we have to attend a case we didn’t think we needed to attend to.” O’Reilly’s agent, Pat Morris, spoke with Ralph Dater of the Denver Post expressing his discomfort with the situation.
“We had some warning that the arb might be taken advantage of. It’s within the CBA. Ryan understands that. He also understands that it’s unique, that no player has been arbed for a pay cut that is of his stature.”
Morris currently sees O’Reilly’s new contract to have a cap hit in the $6.5 million area. The Avs think his next contract should be in the ballpark of $5-6 million.
Dater began to believe he could be traded by the Avs because of this whole situation and that the return could be higher than the compensatory draft picks they would receive should O’Reilly sign an offer sheet somewhere else. The Avs would look for a stud defenseman, picks, or prospects, and I think the Devils could make a strong offer.
It is no mystery that the Devils have a large defensive prospect pool, and a very good one too. Everyone also knows that the Devils lack goal scoring and offensively skilled players. It would be a great deal for Lou Lamoriello to make if the Avs decide to trade him.
Defensemen like Adam Larsson, Eric Gelinas, and Steve Santini are just a few names the Avs could target. Throw in Andy Greene’s name too. Another offer could surround the rights to Mark Fayne and one of the above prospects.
O’Reilly’s 28 goals and 64 points would make the Devils a playoff team once again and make the Devils a tough team to play. It would be stupid of Lou to not call the Avs and see if a deal could be made.