Ryan O'Reilly #37 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on March 14, 2012 in Buffalo, New York. The Avalanche defeated the Sabres 5-4 in the shootout.
(March 13, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Report: O’Reilly seeking five-year extension from Colorado


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.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
Leave a comment

They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
Leave a comment

It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: