Ryan O'Reilly inks creative 7-year, $52.5 million extension with Sabres

Ryan O'Reilly inks creative 7-year, $52.5 million extension with Sabres

Ryan O’Reilly and the Buffalo Sabres have agreed to a seven-year, $52.5 million extension for the 24-year old forward.

The cap hit comes in at $7.5 million per year.

O’Reilly, who spent the first six seasons of his NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, is another young piece acquired by Sabres GM Tim Murray. He’ll join 23-year old Evander Kane, who they traded for in February, 18-year old No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel and 25-year old Tyler Ennis, who was extended last summer.

The makeup of the extension is interesting. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, all seven years come with a $1 million salary and the rest coming via signing bonuses. So O’Reilly protects himself from escrow and with all the bonus money, a buyout, sort of like what we saw with David Clarkson’s deal with the Maple Leafs.

The Avalanche were never going to be able to meet O’Reilly’s contract demands, so they found him a nice landing spot with the Sabres during Draft weekend.  And if you want to blame anyone for O’Reilly’s $7.5 million cap hit, blame the Calgary Flames, who signed him to that giant offer-sheet in 2013, which was the beginning of the end for his time with Colorado.

That sound you just heard was Steven Stamkos laughing as he envisions the giant pile of money he’ll receive once he signs his extension.