Could the Avs move O’Reilly
So here’s the situation if that happens: O’Reilly would be paid more than Matt Duchene. Or, more than anyone else on the Avs, assuming all things stay equal. Will the big-money fight between the Avs and O’Reilly — the one that saw him miss half of last season — happen again? Or, come Feb. 28, will they have already traded him and not had to deal with him anymore?
Stay tuned, because it could get interesting again. Duchene signed a five-year, $30 million contract extension last summer that won’t kick in until next season. When it does, his cap hit and annual salary will be an even $6 million for each of the five seasons.
O’Reilly’s current contract terms were dictated by the Calgary Flames, who gave him a two-year offer as a restricted free agent last season. The Avs, who were trying to trade him at the time, were forced to match the offer. Since then, an uneasy truce has existed between player and team. Before the offer was matched, the Avs made it known to many in the industry they considered Duchene tops in their pecking order of salary structure. But facing an unanticipated decision forced upon them by Calgary, the Avs swallowed their pride and kept O’Reilly.
The question is: Will they swallow it one more time to keep him beyond Feb. 28 and/or whatever date of the final game of their season?