Avs acquire rights to Carl Soderberg; bye-bye Ryan O'Reilly?

Avs acquire rights to Carl Soderberg; bye-bye Ryan O'Reilly?

Beginning Thursday, NHL teams are able to speak to unrestricted free agents ahead of the opening of free agency on July 1. The Colorado Avalanche will have a second pending UFA to speak to -- along with Jan Hejda -- now that they’ve acquired the negotiating rights to Carl Soderberg from the Boston Bruins for a 2016 sixth-round pick.

Soderberg landed in Boston in 2013, and scored 29 goals and 94 points in 161 games.

According to ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun, talk is that Soderberg is seeking in the neighborhood of $5 million a season, a price too rich for the Bruins’ cap-strapped blood. Enter the Avs, who may need to replace a certain center very soon.

What does this mean for the future of Ryan O’Reilly? Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reported that O’Reilly’s camp is looking for a $60 million deal. He’s entering the final year of his deal with a $6 million cap hit and will be a UFA next summer. That will likely lead to him being dealt by, so bringing in Soderberg would be a bit of a downgrade, but a replacement down the middle.

But $5 million a year for Soderberg? Next summer Joe Sakic and co. will be busy working on new deals for RFAs Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Barrie, and potentially UFA Erik Johnson. With those big deals on the horizon, do you want $5 million a year tied up to a third line pivot?

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!