Hours before they were to sit in a Toronto conference room for an arbitration hearing, Ryan O'Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.
"We are pleased to have Ryan under contract," said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. "We are looking at the upcoming training camp and season with a lot of excitement."
Maybe it was just business. Or maybe the Avalanche didn't want to further damage their relationship with O'Reilly. Or maybe this whole saga isn't over with and will end with a trade at some point over these next two years.
O'Reilly was seeking a one-year arbitration award worth $6.75 million. The Avalanche countered with $5.525 million, the minimum they could seek given O'Reilly's $6.5 million 2013-14 salary.
In two year's time, if he's still with the Avalanche, O'Reilly will most certainly choose to enjoy the fruits of unrestricted free agency and get the heck out of Denver. But could this relationship be repaired, especially since the team budged off their initial arbitration award offer and up to a $6 million AAV for the deal? The summer of 2016 will not only see the 23-year old reigning Lady Byng Trophy winner become a UFA, but also Nathan MacKinnon, which means there could be plenty of spending to do.
We kind of wish this would have gone all the way to arbitration. The details and maybe piece of a transcript likely would have been leaked and reading how each presented their case, specifically the Avalance on O'Reilly, would have been fascinating.
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