The Colorado Avalanche just don’t want things to be easy with Ryan O’Reilly, and O’Reilly in turn seems content to keep asking for a raise from a team as tight-fisted as a stone. After having served a two-year contract that was the result of an offer sheet from another team, O’Reilly and the Avalanche will seek an arbitrator to sort out this latest contract mess. Early reports indicate that the two camps are as far off as they’ve ever been in terms of expectations.
Ken Campbell from The Hockey News tweeted out details of the two camps’ stances, putting them more than $1 million apart on a one year deal.
Ryan O’Reilly asking for $6.75 million in arbitration. Avs offering $5.525 million. O’Reilly elects one-year deal.
— Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) July 21, 2014
Check that. Avs offering $5.525 million in arb. That represents 15% pay cut from ’13-14 salary of $6.5 million, maximum allowed under CBA. — Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) July 21, 2014
Granted, arbitration is a dirty game. Just because the Avalanche are literally offering the smallest one-year deal they could possibly tender doesn’t mean they expect to pay only $5.525 million next year. It’s just how this works. One camp asks for the moon. The other asks for something as close to the Earth’s core as possible and the two meet somewhere in the middle a la arbitration.
Still, that doesn’t excuse this multi-year affair between team and player. Ryan O’Reilly is already one of the best defensive centers in the league and the Avalanche seem content to snub him at every turn because O’Reilly is still a restricted free agent with little leverage in the situation. Unfortunately that won’t last much longer and it’s hard to imagine O’Reilly wants to stay on the team long-term after having feuded with them for years over money. Look for Ryan O’Reilly to sign something in the ball park of a one year $6M deal per an arbitrator. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to where O’Reilly could spend the next stage of his promising career. From here, it certainly doesn’t look like he’ll need to buy that dream home anywhere near Denver.