O’Reilly, Kreider Avoid Arbitration.

The Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Ryan O’Reilly to a two-year deal worth $6 million annually, while the New York Rangers re-signed forward Chris Kreider to a two-year, $4.95 million contract. 

Ryan O'Reilly re-signs a two-year deal with the Avalanche.

Ryan O’Reilly re-signs a two-year deal with the Avalanche.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players had arbitration hearings scheduled this morning.  I wasn’t surprised Kreider and the Rangers avoided arbitration, while it seemed a certainty O’Reilly and the Avs would face an arbiter.

Avalanche honcho Joe Sakic claims this deal with O’Reilly isn’t a sign-and-trade move, but questions about the 23-year-old’s future with the Avalanche will linger over the next two years. Then again, perhaps the fact the two sides found common ground at the last minute when it appeared arbitration was a certainty bodes well for future negotiations in a year or two. The important thing for the Avs is they retain a key piece of their rebuilding lineup after losing Paul Stasnty to free agency.

 As for Kreider, his new deal is worth $2.475 million per season, which is a fair raise for a players coming off an entry-level deal.  If he continues to improve over the term of his new deal, he could double his annual salary on a longer-term contract. 


  1. Lyle – This that fair market value for ROR? To me, that sounds like way too much money.


    • You’re right, it is too much money, but Avs management (particularly those in charge before Sakic and Roy took over) have only themselves to blame for this.

      • world class talent

      • How does that make any sense? You claim the old management is to blame for not giving O’Reilly a blank check, so another team couldn’t offer-sheet him. And now you say new management paid him too much?

        • No, I’m saying the old management is at fault for creating this mess in the first place. They weren’t offering O’Reilly a “blank check”, but were refusing to negotiate off their original offer or even to meet his camp halfway. That resulted in his holdout following the lockout, which led to the Flames making an expensive offer sheet, forcing the Avs to match, thus allowing another team to set the terms, creating the situation which resulted in his receiving $6 million per season on a two-year deal.

          • Thanks for expanding. I can see your point. I didn’t realize the Avs were strong-arming him so much within the first negotiations. It didn’t seem that was talked about much in the media. And I agree, the new contract does seem a little high.

    • This isn’t to much money for ROR, many teams would of given him more. He kept the team intact while Stastny and Duchene were injured and only took a single penalty during the entire Regular Season. He may not be the Stamkos/Getzlaf/Crosby etc. of the NHL, but he is a great centerman…that would fit nicely on any team.

      • I see him very much in the same vein as a Patrice Bergeron type player. Insanely useful to any team, and can play in any system or style due to outstanding versatility. Great defensive players who take few penalties are rare, and that is a skill that is far too undervalued. Realistically, every 5-6 minor penalties you take leads to goal against, so guys like Marchand, Lucic, Callahan, Dubinsky, Brown, Ladd, M.Richards who are also considered those good two-way character leader types, all took more minor penalties last year than O’Reilly has so for in his caeer. They all average 30-35 more minor penalites per season, meaning an additional 5-6 goals against. Considering ROR was better offensively than any of these guys last year, is younger, proven to be durable, and is as good defensively as any of these guys to boot, I think the two years at a 6 AAV is very reasonable. To me a deal isn’t a bad deal until it handcuffs you for too long for the value (ie Clarkson) or you can easily find players making less while doing more. Reailistically it would be near impossible to get a player that does more than ROR to sign for 6 million or less. The only deals like that in the league are existing deals that turned out to be steals (Hedman), or were originally signed for a larger percentage of the cap, but as it rose they become more of a steal (Zetterberg, Toews).

        • Danny – total right on, I was thinking the same of ROR and Bergeron. Patrice is my 2nd favorite player after Datsyuk for all the right reasons. People should stop talking about ROR and salary and start to consider what he means to any team.

  2. I think the arbitration ruling had the Avs in a cornder regarding his market value. Also, good Centers seem to be a really hot commodity in the NHL right now so demand is very high giving him great leverage.

    • ror is amazing maybe he’s too young for that kind of money right away, but he is world class talent.

      • World class talent? He has one good season, and now he gets paid 6 million?

        • He has been doing nothing but improving, and has averaged a 50+ point pace over the past 3 seasons. Throw in his great defensive ability while taking virtually no penalties who can play all 3 forward positions and in every situation and you have a very good player. He made the NHL as a 2nd rounder right after his draft year, and has done absolutely nothing to given an indication that he isn’t a very good player. It’s not as if you can point to any part of his career and say that he has done anything to disappoint. He got the same money as Duchene, but he didn’t get the long term committment. To me that is a pretty fair assessment. Over the passed 3 seasons, ROR has been as impressive as Duchene, but doesn’t have quite the upside, so similar money now but Duchene got more years committed seems fair.

        • If you look at the list of Lady Byng winners… yeah Ryan O’Reilly is a world class talent.

          • Now that he’s on the radar (lol), he’ll probably add a few Selkes before he’s done.

          • are you guys compairing him to pavel datsyuk or something? he’s garbage too right? gg

  3. $6M too much for O’Reilly? Obviously you guys haven’t watched him play much.

    • And you obviously overvalue him at this stage in his career.

      • That was exactly the point I was trying to make. At 23 years old with his better years ahead of him, he could be commanding upwards of $8 million+ per season during his next contract negotiation. That’s coming close to Kane/Toews money and let’s be honest here, ROR isn’t near that caliber, nor has he completed the gauntlet to warrant a contract like that.

        The argument has nothing to do with the skill he possesses, strictly the contract.

  4. Keep in mind he has been in the league since he was 18 yrs old , he’ll only get better. Question is where does he fit in the Avs lineup? Duchesne and MacKinnon will have 1-2 locked up for years to come so if ROR is not keen to play wing he is best to move on. As much as I like the kid I think the Avs biggest need is a 1-2 dman and ROR is the likely candidate to fetch that piece.

    • Agreed. I beleive ROR’s best value is as a center, and I think teams want good two-way centers bad enough to give up a big piece. The problem is Colorado will have to realize that he is a very good player, not a Franchise player, so they won’t be getting a franchise type D for him as those are just as rare as Franchise centers. The problem with D is that when they aren’t elite, their flaws are fairly exposed, so they will either have to take a D with some holes in their game, or one that is still developing and bank on the upside.

      I think the best fit out there would be M.Staal. Doesn’t work capwise, but he is a very good defensemen who has been passed over on the NY blueline due to injuries. He is elite defensively, with a little offensive ability, and can play top pairing minutes. Could be a perfect partner for Johnson, and while neither is an ideal #1, as a pairing they could make up for the lack of elite D. Also, NY could use a Center to help fill the void after the Richards buyout.

      Other options would be Myers, Phaneuf, Yandle, Byflugien, Edler, Bogosian. Obviously some of those would require more to go to Colorado, but those are teams that would likely make a move to get a good young forward, and those are defensemen capable of playing as a top pairing, but as mentioned all have holes in their game. The unfortunate part is that defensemen with no real holes in their game simply don’t get moved. There is so much work in developing good defensemen who play a complete game that teams would give up on star forwards before they would on star type defensemen. I honestly can’t remember the last time a bonafide star defensemen was moved in a trade.

      • Mark Staal wasn’t passed over due to injuries, Staal was injured and Mcdonagh emerged as a the #1 guy, that had more offensive upside. ……Had Staal been right handed, there would be a good chance he would be on Mcd’s other side….But to say he was “passed over” would be a bit of an exaggeration, and also a slight to Mcd’s play.

  5. To Edmonton: Ryan O’Reilly
    To Colorado: Teddy Purcell & Jeff Petry??

    • And then you woke up and realized that was just a dream. A completely unachieveable dream.