The Calgary Flames don’t believe they put themselves in a position to lose Ryan O’Reilly to waivers when they signed him to an offer sheet yesterday. Besides, Colorado matched O’Reilly’s offer, so the whole thing is moot anyway, the club maintains.
The following is a statement from Flames general manager Jay Feaster:
“Prior to tendering the offer sheet for Ryan O’Reilly we, as a hockey operations department, examined whether there were any impediments to our successfully securing the services of the player including, but not limited to, his having played in the KHL after the start of the current NHL season.
“Our interpretation of the Article 13 transition rules governing restricted free agents (‘RFA’), and the applicability of Article 13.23 under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to such RFA’s was, and continues to be, different than the NHL’s current interpretation as articulated to us this morning. Moreover, throughout our discussions, the player’s representative shared our interpretation and position with respect to the non-applicability of Article 13.23.
“While we were prepared to advance our position with the NHL, in light of Colorado’s having matched the offer sheet it is now an academic point. As such, we will have no further comment on the matter, the player, or the offer sheet process.”
Of course, even if the Flames did believe they wouldn’t have lost O’Reilly to waivers doesn’t mean they would’ve been in the clear. The NHL apparently saw things differently. Didn’t Feaster check with the league beforehand? Who cares if O’Reilly’s agent interpreted the rules the same way the Flames interpreted them?
Feaster may not want to talk about this anymore, but we get the feeling Calgary reporters might have a few questions anyway.