The Calgary Flames have signed restricted free agent center Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
The deal is reportedly for two years with an average annual value of $5 million. O’Reilly, 22, would have a salary of $1 million for this season, plus a $2.5 million signing bonus. Next season, he would be paid $6.5 million.
O’Reilly has been unable to negotiate a new contract with the Colorado Avalanche after leading the club with 55 points in 2011-12.
The Flames confirmed today’s move in a release.
“Under the rules pertaining to an offer sheet, we will allow the process to transpire,” said general manager Jay Feaster. “We will not provide any further comment until the process is complete.”
Colorado has until March 7 to decide if it will match the offer.
If the Avs refuse to match, the Flames will compensate Colorado with a first- and third-round draft pick.
If the Avs do match, they can’t trade O’Reilly for one calendar year.
Calgary has been searching for help down the middle for some time now. That need only increased when Olli Jokinen departed for Winnipeg this summer.
As TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes, O’Reilly’s salary next season means his team’s qualifying offer for 2014-15 to retain his negotiating rights must be at least $6.5 million.