5 years ago

Under the new CBA, Ryan O'Reilly is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent if the Colorado Avalanche don't re-sign him by the summer of 2014.

Normally, players would have to wait until they played in seven NHL seasons or turned 27 before they could test the unrestricted free agent waters. However, the new CBA offers an exception to restricted free agents that remain unsigned for a prolonged period of time. That's to prevent teams from simply letting players rot under their control rather than trading them if they can't agree to terms. All the same, that's a long time for O'Reilly to be away from the NHL just for the sake of him becoming an unrestricted free agent. It would be easy to see that doing permanent damage to his development.