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)

O’Reilly’s dad blasts Avs management via Twitter


A day after Colorado defenseman Shane O’Brien said the contract impasse between the organization and Ryan O’Reilly was getting ugly, the situation got uglier.

O’Reilly’s father, Brian, took to Twitter on Thursday to air his grievances with the Colorado organization:

Here’s more, from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post:

I called Brian after seeing that, and while he didn’t want to say anything more publicly, it’s fair to say he didn’t back away from the comments. They’re still there for everybody to see.

So, there you have it, a bit of a peek into how things stand between the Avs and O’Reilly. Obviously, it’s a negative situation now and has been for a while. We can all debate the merits of his comments – especially those five dollar signs – but I’m not going to take sides here myself. This is between them.

O’Reilly almost certainly will be traded, but I wouldn’t count on a deal happening quickly. I believe, through my reporting, that the Avs are really going to take their time on this.

That last part is probably a big reason why the senior O’Reilly decided to make (and stand by) his comments — the frustration level in this situation has boiled over to the point of no return.

It seems highly unlikely O’Reilly will play another game in an Avalanche uniform and, knowing that, the Avs feel they can and should take as much time as possible navigating trade waters.

The wildcard in all of this, of course, is the offer sheet.

Some team could make O’Reilly a monetary commitment Colorado is unwilling to match — but there is a catch, as pointed out by Dater.

If a good team ponies up the cash and is willing to part with draft picks, the Avs might still match because the picks wouldn’t be as valuable (going on the assumption the team would finish high in the standings, and therefore receive a pick in the 20s.)

The end result is this: Colorado has all the power, and the O’Reilly camp is beyond frustrated with that.

The relationship has officially moved past ugly and is now entering toxic territory.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.