The Colorado Avalanche might still trade Ryan O’Reilly, but it probably won’t happen before Monday’s 3:00 p.m. deadline. That’s because GM Joe Sakic hopes the 24-year-old forward will still factor into their long-term plans.
“Ryan is part of our core,” Sakic told ESPN.com. “My intention is that at the end of the year I want to try and re-sign him. That will be the goal with Ryan. That being said, we’re not going to want that same distraction going on all year next season, either. But he’s a guy I want to have here. And hopefully we can work something out this summer.”
O’Reilly has a history of tough contract negotiations with Colorado. He didn’t immediately join the Avalanche following the 2013 lockout and only played for the squad after they matched the two-year, $10 million offer sheet from the Calgary Flames. O’Reilly came close to squaring off with the Avalanche via an arbitration hearing this summer while he was a restricted free agent, but the two sides narrowly avoided that fate by agreeing to a two-year, $12 million deal.
Those battles have led to questions about his long-term future with the team. One way or another, those questions could be answered this summer.