Earlier this month, we highlighted a piece from the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers on how “crazy” it was that Colorado hadn’t yet re-upped with Ryan O’Reilly.
After doing some digging, Chambers might’ve found out why a deal hasn’t been reached.
More, from the Post:
[O’Reilly] is an restricted free agent who is coming off his three-year, entry-level contract, and a breakout 2011-12 season in which he led the Avs in scoring and was tops in the NHL with 104 takeaways.
Word is he wants a five-year deal and the Avs are only offering three.
He figures to make between $3 million and $4.5 million annually.
Chambers spoke to Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey, one of O’Reilly’s ex-Avalanche teammates, who had nothing but praise for the 21-year-old.
“He’s one of the best hockey players I’ve played with and by far one of the top five good guys off the ice,” Quincey said of O’Reilly. “He’s by far the hardest worker I’ve ever played with. He’s an unbelievable guy.”
Quincey also addressed the fact O’Reilly remains unsigned.
“You have no idea of how the negotiations are going. That’s between [O’Reilly] and his agent and the team,” he said. “Outside the handful of people in the know, we’re just guessing. The facts are, he’s a great hockey player and great person and there’s no way he’s not going to sign.
“The offer sheet thing is very rare and I know teams don’t like to do it, but it is a possibility.”
It remains unclear why Colorado wouldn’t want to lock up O’Reilly long term…well, other than the fact the franchise appears averse to lengthy deals.
No Avalanche player has a contract beyond 2015-16 (the only three locked in ’til 2016 are David Jones, Erik Johnson and P.A. Parenteau.) At the June draft, GM Greg Sherman inked center Matt Duchene to a two-year deal, a move that raised eyebrows.
It seemed like a pretty short term deal, especially since Duchene was a Calder finalist in 2010 and led the team in scoring in 2011.