UPDATE: THE AVS HAVE MATCHED THE OFFER AND O’REILLY WILL STAY WITH COLORADO
It looks like the stalemate between the Colorado Avalanche and their young restricted free agent Ryan O’Reilly has come to an end. One way or another. The Calgary Flames have made the move to sign O’Reilly to an offer sheet, with the compensation going back to Colorado (should they choose not to match) being a 1st and 3rd round pick in this summer’s draft.
The offer sheet, according to Darren Dreger of TSN is for two years and $10M, which includes a salary of $6.5M for next season. This is the price that O’Reilly would have to be qualified at going forward after next season for whoever he gets signed by to keep his rights. The remaining $3.5M is apparently broken up into a $2.5M signing bonus and a $1M contract. The signing bonus is real dollars and not pro-rated like the salary is, which means he will make over $2.8M this year.
If I understand it correctly, the Signing bonus would not be pro-rated and would be real dollars.
Colorado has 7 days to match the offer or take the compensation. If they were worried about the salary structure before, then I don’t see them matching the offer and then having to qualify him at $6.5M per season going forward. I just don’t think they want to commit that much to him.
Looks like O’Reilly will be a Calgary Flame. Maybe Jarome Iginla will finally have that #1 centre to play with. And the other 20+ teams that had a trade on their radar will need to look elsewhere.