Ryan O'Reilly C COL 9 Days

Colorado's Joe Sakic fought against the idea that Ryan O'Reilly's new two-year, $12 million contract is the first step towards a sign-and-trade.

"We want him long term, and we'll keep working on that," Sakic said. While we don't expect O'Reilly to be dealt this summer, it wouldn't surprise us if this is his last deal with Colorado. The Avalanche have made it clear that they will be disciplined with their budget and we think it's likely that O'Reilly will insist on more than the Avalanche are willing to spend once he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 9 Days

Ryan O'Reilly has inked a two-year, $12 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

O'Reilly and the Avalanche narrowly avoided arbitration. His $6 million annual cap hit puts O'Reilly in a tie with Matt Duchene for the highest cap hit on the team. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this contract and it will be interesting to see if the Avalanche eventually decide to trade him rather than risk watching him allow his contract to expire to that he can play for the highest bidder.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 10 Days

Ryan O'Reilly is asking an arbitrator to award him a one-year, $6.75 million contract.

Colorado's counter proposal is worth $5.525 million. O'Reilly is coming off of a two-year, $10 million contract, but he was paid $6.5 million in the final season of the deal. The Avalanche want the average annual salary over the life of the deal to be the starting point while O'Reilly wants it to be based off of his 2013-14 salary. In other words, from the Avalanche's perspective, they're offering him a raise while O'Reilly sees it as a pay cut. Regardless of who wins, at this point it seems unlikely O'Reilly will stay in Colorado any longer than he's obligated to. If the Avalanche don't trade him first, he will probably sign elsewhere once he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. His arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 22 Days

The Colorado Avalanche aren't likely to re-sign Ryan O'Reilly before his arbitration date of July 23.

The two sides have been negotiating, but they seem to be at an impasse. If the Avalanche can't get O'Reilly to agree to a long-term contract, then it wouldn't be surprising to see them trade him rather than risk losing him for nothing when he finally becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 23 Days

The Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O'Reilly's arbitration hearing has been penciled in for July 23.

That's one of the earliest possible arbitration dates, so obviously the Avalanche and O'Reilly need to move quickly if they want to avoid the hearing. The team elected for arbitration in an attempt to pay him less than the $6.5 million he earned in 2013-14. They might succeed in that goal, although given their history of contract negotiations with O'Reilly, it would be surprising if he gave them any kind of hometown discount once he's finally eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 25 Days

Watching Paul Stastny walk away might influence how Avalanche executive vice president Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy handle the Ryan O'Reilly situation.

The team elected for salary arbitration with O'Reilly, so the team is in control when it comes to whether or not they want him back for 2014-15. That being said, it won't be long before O'Reilly's an unrestricted free agent and given their negotiating history with him, it's unlikely that O'Reilly will give them a hometown discount when the time comes. The Avalanche might opt to trade him before it reaches that point rather than risk getting now in return, as was the case when Stastny walked.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 28 Days

With the free agent market dying down, the Colorado Avalanche can refocus on Ryan O'Reilly.

Avalanche executive vice president Joe Sakic said that they want O'Reilly to stay in Colorado for a "long time," but signing him to a long-term contract might be tricky. As things are, the team has filed for arbitration to try and force the restricted free agent to take less than the $6.5 million he earned in 2013-14. We don't expect this matter to be resolved in the near future.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 1 Month

Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly was the runaway winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy at the NHL Awards Tuesday night.

The Lady Byng is awarded to "the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," and considering he was assessed only two penalty minutes in 80 games played, it's no surprise the Colorado forward received the honor. Martin St. Louis and San Jose's Patrick Marleau finished second and third in the voting, respectively.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 1 Month

Coach Patrick Roy doesn't think Ryan O'Reilly's rocky contract situation is anything personal.

"At this time of the year, it's no different for other teams. It's an unpleasant time. It's a negotiation, and Ryan has to do what he thinks is the best," said Roy. "Obviously, as a team, you always wish players are buying into your structure, buying into your plan, and Joe (Sakic) is doing a super job. He's the one dealing with the contracts. From a coaching perspective, I don't see it as a problem." Sakic hasn't spoken with O'Reilly's agent, Pat Morris, since the team filed for salary arbitration.

Ryan O'Reilly C COL 1 Month

Joe Sakic said Monday that there has been contact between the Avalanche and Pat Morris, the agent for Ryan O'Reilly, since the team filed for arbitration earlier in the month.

Sakic has previously stated that the Avs would like to keep O'Reilly in a Colorado uniform "for a long time", but the filing for arbitration was a calculated move by the club. Although the two sides haven't negotiated of late, there remains a decent chance he could re-sign with the team.