The was a lot talk in the first couple of weeks of the season about the big three restricted free agents that weren’t signed. With the short, compacted season, teams can ill afford to miss valuable pieces of their lineup.
P.K. Subban returned to the Canadiens lineup last week, after agreeing to a two year contract worth $5.1 million. Jamie Benn returned the week before, after agreeing to a five year, $26.25 million deal.
The Canadiens and Stars, despite missing one of their stars for a few games, still find themselves holding down a playoff spot. The same can’t be said for the Colorado Avalanche, who hold the last remaining restricted free agent, center Ryan O’Reilly.
The Avalanche are already with left winger Gabriel Landeskog (head injury), so missing their leading scorer from last year as well, really hurts their playoff chances.
There was no contact between the Avalanche and O’Reilly’s agent, Mark Guy for close to a week, but on Tuesday it was reported that the sides did talk in the afternoon. Unfortunately it’s looking like neither side is willing to budge according Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
The Avalanche are holding firm on their two years and $7 million ($3.5 million cap hit) or five years and $17 million ($3.4 million cap hit) offers.
While the sides are closer on the dollar value on a two year contract, O’Reilly is looking looking for closer to $5 million a season on a five year deal.
With neither side softening on their offers, it may leave only two options: to trade O’Reilly or an offer sheet from another team. If O’Reilly was to sign an offer sheet, the Avs could match it or take the draft pick compensation.
If the offer sheet was between $3,364,392 and $5,046,585, the Avs would receive a first and third round pick. If it were between $5,046,586 and $6,728,781, the compensation would be a first, second and third round draft pick. Offers above $6.7 million would be at least two first round picks.
Dater thinks that the Avs are being stubborn by not signing him, but also baffled that they haven’t traded him yet, as both those scenarios would help the team.