In Soviet Russia, Ryan O'Reilly signs you.
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01-20-2013, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Well its official this has turned into a Jordan Staal type situation, although Staal never let it get to this point.
Its pretty clear that O'Reilly views himself as a top 2 line center in the league. Which in my opinion is fair because he would play top two lines on 95% of the other teams in the league. Unfortunately he plays on a team where he isn't a clear cut top 2 line center. We have 3 guys for 2 spots and its arguable who fits where.
O'Reilly situation mirrors Staal's because he knows that playing on the Avs will hurt his opportunity to "cash in". Staal had to play 3rd line minutes and lots of PK time because Malkin and Crosby were going to get the offensive minutes. Similarly Stastny and Duchene are going to be given the offensive minutes where O'Reilly is going to be asked to play the PK and more defensive situatuions. Everyone knows that defensive forwards aren't the ones that get paid, its the offensive stars that cash in. O'Reilly knows this and doesn't want to lose out on cashing in because he is forced to play this "3rd line center" role until his UFA years.
Thus I don't really think the money is the biggest issue. I think he wants a guarantee that he will either be played as a top 2 line center, which we can't guarantee or he wants to be paid like one so that even if he is used as a 3rd line center type he is still making top 2 money, which would be stupid for us because we have tons of young guys needing new contracts in the future.
Unfortunately I don't see a clear cut resolution to this. I don't think the Avs are all of a sudden going to give in and pay him near 5M per season, and I don't think O'Reilly will get sick of making money to play in Russia. The only resolution I see is a trade, but at this point I don't see it ending well for the Avs. We will have to sell for pennies on the dollar if he isn't signed. And we'll probably end up with a terrible trade similar to the Turris trade.
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