There has been a lot of talk about veteran goalie Roberto Luongo possibly being on the move via trade, but another big name could be playing elsewhere very soon. The Colorado Avalanche are still in contract negotiations with restricted free agent Ryan O’Reilly, and while trade rumors have begun to swirl involving the Av’s leading scorer, Colorado isn’t willing to let him go.
Back in June, center Matt Duchene accepted a two-year, $7 million contract offer from the Avalanche, and that same offer was made to and rejected by O’Reilly.
However while Duchene accepted the deal, he did so coming off of a disappointing 28 point season while O’Reilly lead the Av’s in scoring with 55 points last season. Naturally, O’Reilly wants a little more money than the sixth leading scorer on the team.
O’Reilly reportedly wants close to $5 million annually, which is about $1.5 million more than what was offered to him.
While 55 points was enough to lead the Av’s last season, many are saying that number is largely inflated due to the fact that O’Reilly got time playing along side captain Gabriel Landeskog. Fans are also seeing through O’Reilly’s plan in demanding the money he is after the season he had. $5 million annually is a hefty price tag for a guy who’s your 3rd line center.
There is hope for O’Reilly that he can move up a line if Paul Stastny is either let go or traded, but for now it’s looking like he’s stuck in his role — one that’s not worth his asking price.
That’s where the trade scenario comes in, as O’Reilly could start on a first or second line somewhere else. The same situation happened to Jordan Staal, who demanded a bigger role with the Penguins and had to be traded to Carolina to get the role he wanted. The Av’s would love to hang on to O’Reilly but at $5 million annually, they might begin fielding some trade offers soon if that number doesn’t go down.