Outside the Box: Sign Ryan O'Reilly to an Offer Sheet

Kent Wilson
January 15 2013 07:07AM

I recently wrote an article for NHLNumbers on some of interesting restricted free agents still waiting to be signed. Amongst them was 21-year old Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly. A former second round pick who made the NHL immediately as an 18-year old, O'Reilly is perhaps the best target for a potential Flames offer sheet for a number of reasons.

First of all, the kid checks all of the organization's boxes. He's young but can contribute immediately, being a veteran of 236 games. He is also a center who can already play the toughest minutes available. From my linked article: 

O'Reilly would be a welcome addition to any roster in the league. He's already a practiced hard minutes option and is 3-5 years away from his peak, which may include a Selke nomination or two. It's uncertain whether he will ever develop into a true offensive weapon, but he's the sort of player who makes others around him better and the lives of team mates not on his line a lot easier.

O'Reilly took on the second toughest minutes on his team last year, had the second toughest zone start ratio, but the seocnd best relative corsi rating (which was a double digit positive number). He also led his team in scoring, despite a below average (ie; unlucky) PDO (svae percentage + shooting percentage). Oh...and he had similar underlying numbers as a teenaged sophomore. Those are all big arrows all pointing in the right direction.

The Colorado kid isn't a conventionally sexy acquistion because he doesn't have eye-popping offensive numbers and he isn't overly big (6', 205 pounds). He is, however, already playing in some of the hardest circumstances available and excelling, which are results worth paying for in just about any player, let alone a guy who probably won't even peak for another 3 or 4 years. Signing a player like O'Reilly at his age with his results means you get a high-end contributor now and likely for the rest of his contract however long it might be. That's not something you can usually say for 28+ year old UFA's.

Pressuring the Misers 

The maneuver might work for another reason: the Avs are a notoriously cheap organization. The only guy making more than $4M on their roster currently is Paul Stastny, and he was signed under a previous regime. Colorado has built teams for pennies on the dollar for the last few seasons and currently have the 8th cheapest line-up in the league. Last season, they were the club with the closest eye on the bottom line, icing an outfit worth about $50 million. Even the bankrupt Coyotes spent approximately $5 million more than that.

So no doubt part of the hold-up in negotiations with their burgeoning star is the organization's distaste for spending money. Word is, O'Reilly wants the Avs to match what he's making in Russia (about $4M/year) over at least four years. Frankly, I think that's chump change for a player of his current ability and growing potential, but that's enough to have things at a stalemate with the Colorado GM and owners, apparently.

The Play

The Flames don't have their second rounder next season (gone in the Cammalleri/Bourque swap) but assuming the compensation rules for RFA offer sheets haven't changed, Calgary could offer O'Reilly up to $5.04 million per year and the return for Colorado would be the Flames first and third round picks next season (any more than that and Calgary surrenders their first, second and third...which is impossible since Montreal has their second).

Luckily, it seems a $5 million over 5 or 6 year contract offer would be more than enough to make the Avalanche balk at matching. 

Risks and Complications

Of course, there will be some who protest losing a first and third round pick and therefore having zero picks in the top-90 for the next 2013 draft. There's a couple of responses to that:

1.) Outside of maybe (remains to be seen) Sven Baertschi, the Flames haven't picked a forward of O'Reilly's caliber in the last two decades. Unless they completely tank and finish with a top-5 lottery choice, the chances of the first or third rounder being a player as good or better than O'Reilly is quite slim.

2.) If getting some picks back is a priority, Calgary has more than a few trade-able assets on the roster which they can move for some sort of return.

Of course, the primary obstacle to this sneaky bit of thievary is...the club currently doesn't have $5 million in cap space. They're sitting around $3.5M as things stand, meaning the Flames would have to free up at least another $2 million in order to ink O'Reilly and still have a bit of breathing breathing room. Waiving Babchuk so someone else would claim him or moving him for pennies on the dollar may work - even marginal defenders like Jim Vandermeer, Mark Fistric and Cam Barker are getting attention right now. Finding someone to take Stajan would be a great way to free up the dollars too.

Outside of somehow deleting one or both of those two anchors, Feaster would have to get creative in order to get the budget space required to sign O'Reilly. Luckily, it's not a huge amount of money, so theoretically it's not an impossible feat.

Conclusion

O'Reilly is everything the Flames want now and need in the future: a young, NHL ready center who can drive possession and guy who will be peaking a few years down the road. He's an exceedingly rare commodity and a potential future Selke winner (one thing you'll note of every cup contender: they have at least one dominant, two-way pivot) - trading a first and third and signing him long-term strikes me as a solid bet.

As a bonus, the Flames could cripple a division rival by pilfering a key cog from their organization, or at the very least force them to pay O'Reilly much more than they are comfortable with, thereby upsetting whatever constrictive internal budget the Avalanche have.

It's a win-win-win scenario. Get it done Jay.

Hattip to twitter user @hockeysymposium for giving me the idea for this post.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Subversive
January 15 2013, 07:44AM
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Wouldn't it be nice if the Flames were this creative.... *le sigh*

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#2 clyde
January 15 2013, 07:54AM
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That signing could end up costing a Seth Jones or a Drouin so no thanks.

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#3 BurningSensation
January 15 2013, 08:02AM
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LOVE this idea! I also wondered about taking a ru at Subban, but the Flames don't have the picks to do so.

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#4 backburner
January 15 2013, 08:03AM
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This article makes WAY too much sense... In fact it depresses me to think that Jay probably doesn't have a clue.

What makes this such a good opportunity is that the Avalanche kind of have their hands tied with there other young talent, and Statsny's contract... I think O'Reilly could even be available through trade for the right price

I like this move for a couple of reasons...

1)It makes the Flames a lot better NOW, which is what everyone wants... gives us young talent at par with the rest of the teams in the league..

And, 2)they can avoid the 'burn it down and rebuild through the draft' scenario which could be a long painful process (see Oilers, Edmonton)

I can see O'Reilly as a future Kesler/Bergeron type of forward.. one that you need to win a championship, and is very rare...

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#5 backburner
January 15 2013, 08:05AM
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@Clyde

Flames aren't bad enough/ lucky enough to draft that high this year.. not sure which one it is

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#7 backburner
January 15 2013, 08:20AM
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@Kent Wilson

Please tell me Feaster reads these articles...

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#8 the-wolf
January 15 2013, 08:28AM
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I really, really like the idea.

The only real issue is it makes everyone hate you, but too bad.

However, I think the Avs would match and either:

1) trade Stastny in order to free up salary to keep O'Reilly or;

2) simply match and then trade O'Reilly to anyone but Calgary.

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#9 mcculb
January 15 2013, 08:46AM
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I love the idea. You give up some picks but the risk is low to none as you get in return an established young CENTER with skill in "both" ends of the rink. Picks are only as good as future holds. O'Reilly is a talent now and for years to come. Plus he has to be Irish and they all hate losing. I would make the offer.

Kent for GM.

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#10 seve927
January 15 2013, 09:05AM
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Drawback: by publishing this you can pretty much guarantee it won't happen. If this comes up in the media, it will be "we're not going to have fan blogs managing this team".

Would there be a trade that we could do with Colorado that would not involve our first rounder next year? It's not like this is the final piece of the puzzle, so I really don't like giving up that first rounder. Maybe some other package of prospects that included Gaudreau, Sieloff, and or picks?

Every contender has a top scoring center and a dominant two-way defender as well. We still need those.

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#11 Monaertchi Gaudnett
January 15 2013, 09:14AM
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Getting a good player on your team is probably never a bad idea, unless it costs too much. But, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush has been a saying for long enough that it must be true.

Your article mentions completely tanking and therefore having to give up a top 5 pick. How is the lottery going to work this year? I seem to remember reading that all non-playoff teams (which will almost certainly include CGY) will be in the lottery, but does 30th place have a better chance at first pick than 17th place?

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#12 SmellOfVictory
January 15 2013, 09:15AM
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I'd like to see them try (somehow) to trade for O'Reilly's rights, instead. Wouldn't be easy, since I don't know that they have a lot that Colorado wants, though. Optics aside, if they could do something with Hudler and a couple of additions, that would be swell (I'd suggest Cammalleri but if price tag is a big thing for Colorado then clearly he's not a fit).

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#13 SmellOfVictory
January 15 2013, 09:17AM
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Monaertchi Gaudnett wrote:

Getting a good player on your team is probably never a bad idea, unless it costs too much. But, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush has been a saying for long enough that it must be true.

Your article mentions completely tanking and therefore having to give up a top 5 pick. How is the lottery going to work this year? I seem to remember reading that all non-playoff teams (which will almost certainly include CGY) will be in the lottery, but does 30th place have a better chance at first pick than 17th place?

Yeah, my understanding is that the weighting will be the same as the regular draft lottery (30th place has ~40% chance at winning, dropping down to either the single digits or lower when you're into the mid-teens) with the only difference being that whoever wins it is guarateed 1st overall rather than being limited to moving up 4 spots.

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#14 ChinookArch
January 15 2013, 09:27AM
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I really liked O'Reilly, and would love to see him as a Flame. The trouble is I don't like the idea of losing our 3rd round pick, especially in light of the fact that we don't have a 2nd rounder in a very rich draft.

That said, maybe a couple of our cheap-ish players will allow the Flames to trade and sign him to a $5M deal. Something like a Stempniak and Smith for O'Reilly, The Flames a topped out with a lot of forwards and defensemen, meaning they can start moving younger players like Street and TJ Brodie up.

PS. I really like the idea of moving Babchuk!!!

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#15 ChinookArch
January 15 2013, 09:29AM
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@Monaertchi Gaudnett

The lottery will work the same, meaning the bottom teams will have a higher probability of getting the #1 pick. The change this year is that all the non-play off teams will be included in the lottery.

I believe that's right?

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#16 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 09:41AM
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Uuuhhh, I hate to give up any 1st rnd picks but, yea, some moves are worth it. I still hold Benn ahead of O'Reilly but either would sure be nice and O"Reilly may be cheaper to aquire. Perhaps we could keep our 2013 1st and make a deal with COL to give them our 2014 1st, 3rd and a prospect like say, Byron.

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#17 RossCreekNation
January 15 2013, 09:44AM
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Backlund & a 1st for O'Reilly & a 2nd

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#18 suba steve
January 15 2013, 09:53AM
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ChinookArch wrote:

I really liked O'Reilly, and would love to see him as a Flame. The trouble is I don't like the idea of losing our 3rd round pick, especially in light of the fact that we don't have a 2nd rounder in a very rich draft.

That said, maybe a couple of our cheap-ish players will allow the Flames to trade and sign him to a $5M deal. Something like a Stempniak and Smith for O'Reilly, The Flames a topped out with a lot of forwards and defensemen, meaning they can start moving younger players like Street and TJ Brodie up.

PS. I really like the idea of moving Babchuk!!!

Pretty sure you're gonna have to put more skin in the game then Stemp & Smith, a lot more.

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#19 RossCreekNation
January 15 2013, 09:58AM
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What's up with the time stamps? Its 9:40 right now.

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#20 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 10:00AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Backlund & a 1st for O'Reilly & a 2nd

I wouldn't move Backs just yet, at least not for a deal that has us giviing up the 1st as well.

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#21 Kurt
January 15 2013, 10:09AM
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Deals like this are how the Leafs got in their mess....

Won't it be awesome if we pull it off and have a Rilley parade. Then a few weeks later Iggy blows his knee, Kipper realizes he is 100 years old and fizzles off a bit, and a we generally roll a few snake eyes and suddenly find ourselves in 25th. Then heaven forbid we fluke out and win the draft lottery. It'll be an awesome feeling at the draft when Colorado goes up and drafts Seth Jones or Nathan McKinnon using our 1st overall. Ya its unlikely, but just ask the Leafs how it feels to know that their years of lotto finishes went straight to landing Tyler Seguin and Douggie Hamilton in Boston.

End of the day, here is the question. Has refusing to build internally and trying to shortcut a rebuild ever worked? Can anyone give me an example of a marginal team that pulled off some magic and suddenly got awesome without any of their draft picks? I can't think of 1 single example. Not one. You do not win the cup without developing elite talent internally. And don't give me that LA got 8th place and won BS. We all know they were an elite team who underachieved to get 8th. Not a crappy team who overacheived to get 8th.

While your offer sheet idea is interesting and fun to talk about, its just trying to avoid rebuilding, drafting and developing internally. Ask Burke how that works.

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#22 Baalzamon
January 15 2013, 10:14AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

What's up with the time stamps? Its 9:40 right now.

That's a problem I noticed a while ago as well. It's probably a network thing, like the internal clock on the hosting server was set wrong and no one's bothered to fix it.

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#23 seve927
January 15 2013, 10:15AM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

I wouldn't move Backs just yet, at least not for a deal that has us giviing up the 1st as well.

1 proven special player is worth more than two potentially good players. That's really difficult to gauge what that first rounder will be. Toronto micalculated what they were giving up for Kessel, and I think it hurt them bad. If we were giving up a top 5 and Backlund, it might be too much. Another 13 or 14, I'd do it.

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#24 TheCalgaryJames
January 15 2013, 10:28AM
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I like the idea of O'reilly in a flames jersey but at this stage in the flames 'rebuild' I think a trade (which it essentially would be) of any first round pick is an awfully risky endevour. I think a trade would definitely make the most sense but it would need to be a combination of a player and a lesser pick.

I agree with Kurt here. It's deals like these that can really hurt an organization in the midst of a rebuild (see: Penner/EDM and Kessel/TOR). A deal like this is tailor made to come back and bite the organization in the ass. I'd THINK about doing a deal like that for Benn but O'reilly seems like too steep a price to pay.

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#25 TheaCalgaryJames
January 15 2013, 10:39AM
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seve927 wrote:

1 proven special player is worth more than two potentially good players. That's really difficult to gauge what that first rounder will be. Toronto micalculated what they were giving up for Kessel, and I think it hurt them bad. If we were giving up a top 5 and Backlund, it might be too much. Another 13 or 14, I'd do it.

That's exactly the problem though. You don't know what that pick will be and the flames can swing to a playoff team or to a bottom five team pretty easily this year. Especially in an abbreviated season like this. After 48 games last year we were in 11th in the west (I think??).

I say stay the course. The Flames best plan would be to see where you are at the deadline and determine whether or not to trade one/both of Iggy and Kipper then look towards a really strong draft class and an impressive UFA pool to fill out the identity and roster going forward.

For me trading a 1st rounder at this point should be an absolute non starter unless the return completely knocks your socks off which O'reilly (despite his talent and experience at his age) doesn't do for me. It's made even more risky to me when you consider that, weighting aside, any non-playoff team can potentially win the draft now.

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#26 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 10:39AM
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Hey Kent. Is Ryan doing a follow up to the weekend prospects primer? I'm wondering how our boys did over the weekend. Or did I miss it somehow?

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#27 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 10:48AM
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TheCalgaryJames wrote:

I like the idea of O'reilly in a flames jersey but at this stage in the flames 'rebuild' I think a trade (which it essentially would be) of any first round pick is an awfully risky endevour. I think a trade would definitely make the most sense but it would need to be a combination of a player and a lesser pick.

I agree with Kurt here. It's deals like these that can really hurt an organization in the midst of a rebuild (see: Penner/EDM and Kessel/TOR). A deal like this is tailor made to come back and bite the organization in the ass. I'd THINK about doing a deal like that for Benn but O'reilly seems like too steep a price to pay.

I completely agree with you and Kurt. If I'm giving up a 1st at this stage, I better be getting back something VERY significant. I like O'Reilly but I'm not sure he is a 1st line potential C. Also, like I was trying to say before, I wouldn't give up Backs just yet either. We need to try and keep our 20 to 23 year olds that may still figure it out. I would rather trade off a prospect that we haven't yet invested a bunch of time on; like say Horak, as much as I like the kid.

I just don't want to say goodbye to that 1st rnd'r that knowing our luck, is the lottery winning pick.

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#28 FireOnIce
January 15 2013, 10:58AM
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To get around the issue of losing picks, Flames should be talking to Colorado directly. Tell them that if they sign O'Reilly to a fat contract worth $4-4.5M per year for 4-5 years, we'll trade for him. We don't lose picks and they don't pay a fat wad to keep someone they clearly don't want to pay.

Give them JBo for O'Reilly and a 2nd/3rd. Hell, give them Irving. Throw in Raitis Ivanans' old jock strap and call it a done deal.

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#29 backburner
January 15 2013, 11:12AM
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@Kurt

You raise a very good point...

But Mackinnon is many years away from playing first line Centre in the NHL, that is IF the Flames draft him.. and IF he continues to develop properly...

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#30 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 15 2013, 11:19AM
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yes, it would be nice to have an O'Reilly, but aren't the flames supposed to be drafting top five this year? I wouldn't mind giving up a 15th/20th overall pick, but top 5? not so sure... yes we need a center, but no more are we in a hurry to get a center to play with Iggy... those days are done.

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#31 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 11:28AM
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@FireOnIce

I'm not seeing how COL wouldn't want to pay 4-4.5 on O'Reilly but be ok with 6.7 on JBo.

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#32 McRib
January 15 2013, 12:25PM
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Everyone realizes that Ryan O'Reilly signed a TWO YEAR deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL. There is an opt out but he obviously did it for leverage. Considering the NHL is pulling the strings on players like Ilya Kovalchuk to return and honor his initial contract, don’t think that the KHL is going to let O'Reilly go that easily.

They probably offered him stupid money, 6-7 million tax free of course, where he gets to play with his brother Cal. No wonder he is not in any hurry to sign, it also throws Kents $5.04 Million out the window as no way he returns now for that.

Also considering that this is easily the strongest draft year since 2003, he is absolutly not worth even close to a 1st and 2nd.

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#33 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 12:28PM
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McRib wrote:

Everyone realizes that Ryan O'Reilly signed a TWO YEAR deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL. There is an opt out but he obviously did it for leverage. Considering the NHL is pulling the strings on players like Ilya Kovalchuk to return and honor his initial contract, don’t think that the KHL is going to let O'Reilly go that easily.

They probably offered him stupid money, 6-7 million tax free of course, where he gets to play with his brother Cal. No wonder he is not in any hurry to sign, it also throws Kents $5.04 Million out the window as no way he returns now for that.

Also considering that this is easily the strongest draft year since 2003, he is absolutly not worth even close to a 1st and 2nd.

I'm sure he has an out clause. If not, well, enjoy Metallurg.

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#34 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 12:29PM
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McRib wrote:

Everyone realizes that Ryan O'Reilly signed a TWO YEAR deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL. There is an opt out but he obviously did it for leverage. Considering the NHL is pulling the strings on players like Ilya Kovalchuk to return and honor his initial contract, don’t think that the KHL is going to let O'Reilly go that easily.

They probably offered him stupid money, 6-7 million tax free of course, where he gets to play with his brother Cal. No wonder he is not in any hurry to sign, it also throws Kents $5.04 Million out the window as no way he returns now for that.

Also considering that this is easily the strongest draft year since 2003, he is absolutly not worth even close to a 1st and 2nd.

I'm sure he has an out clause. If not, well, enjoy Metallurg. Oops, not sure why it went 2x.

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#35 Kevin R
January 15 2013, 12:37PM
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Kurt wrote:

Deals like this are how the Leafs got in their mess....

Won't it be awesome if we pull it off and have a Rilley parade. Then a few weeks later Iggy blows his knee, Kipper realizes he is 100 years old and fizzles off a bit, and a we generally roll a few snake eyes and suddenly find ourselves in 25th. Then heaven forbid we fluke out and win the draft lottery. It'll be an awesome feeling at the draft when Colorado goes up and drafts Seth Jones or Nathan McKinnon using our 1st overall. Ya its unlikely, but just ask the Leafs how it feels to know that their years of lotto finishes went straight to landing Tyler Seguin and Douggie Hamilton in Boston.

End of the day, here is the question. Has refusing to build internally and trying to shortcut a rebuild ever worked? Can anyone give me an example of a marginal team that pulled off some magic and suddenly got awesome without any of their draft picks? I can't think of 1 single example. Not one. You do not win the cup without developing elite talent internally. And don't give me that LA got 8th place and won BS. We all know they were an elite team who underachieved to get 8th. Not a crappy team who overacheived to get 8th.

While your offer sheet idea is interesting and fun to talk about, its just trying to avoid rebuilding, drafting and developing internally. Ask Burke how that works.

I gotta say I am with Kurt on this one. Really, last year the kid had a breakout year, there are no guarantees he will be superstar status. I say make a pitch for this kid & knowing how cheap the Av's are, you need to give them cheap & excellent returns. They need blueline help, Butler is only 1.3mill & had played top 4 d last year, put him in the package. Backlund has all types of potential, has a great contract this year & will still be a an RFA at the end of this one. So I would throw this at them Butler, Backlund, Irving & 2014 2nd.

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#36 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 01:20PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I gotta say I am with Kurt on this one. Really, last year the kid had a breakout year, there are no guarantees he will be superstar status. I say make a pitch for this kid & knowing how cheap the Av's are, you need to give them cheap & excellent returns. They need blueline help, Butler is only 1.3mill & had played top 4 d last year, put him in the package. Backlund has all types of potential, has a great contract this year & will still be a an RFA at the end of this one. So I would throw this at them Butler, Backlund, Irving & 2014 2nd.

That is A LOT for just O'Reilly as the return. Bottom line is this, if COL are so damn cheap and don't want to sign O'Reilly to that big of a contract, we can trade them Backlund and we can take back a 2nd or 3rd to save them the money and get a young developing player with lots of potentail himself.

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#37 McRib
January 15 2013, 01:22PM
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Any other year I would agree, but this years draft is just far to strong and 18 goals, 55 Points is not a can't miss first line center in my mind. He also played with Landeskog all season who is going to be an absolute star!!!

A year ago before Mikael Backlund got injured in training camp they were both coming off identical 25/26 points season and both poised for breakout years. So I would rather roll the dice with Backlund and save the picks!!! As we could easily get two/three surefire NHLers out of this seasons draft.

Two-Three years down the road people most likely will be looking back at this years draft in awe at the talent that it produced, its a once every DECADE draft. We trade picks now its a long haul rebuild, if we don't its a couple year rebuild.

Look at Madison Bowey in Kelowna, any other year he would be a surefire Top. 15 Prospect, this season he will be very lucky to crack the first round.

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#38 Kevin R
January 15 2013, 01:36PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

That is A LOT for just O'Reilly as the return. Bottom line is this, if COL are so damn cheap and don't want to sign O'Reilly to that big of a contract, we can trade them Backlund and we can take back a 2nd or 3rd to save them the money and get a young developing player with lots of potentail himself.

Dont forget, we wouldnt be the only ones wanting Orielly & therefore offers would be competitive. Irving still has that former 1st rounder look to him even though most think he wont be long for the Flames. Last I saw, many wanted to run Backlund out of town, so using him to get OReilly & not have to give up a 1st rounder would be huge & dmen are hard to find, especially if they can play 3-4. I think Brodie is ready to move into top 4 & we have lots of 5-6 options. If OReilly's numbers are that good & his upside is a #1 C well then Feaster would be nuts to not pull the trigger on the deal. Gotta give to get.

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#39 McRib
January 15 2013, 01:42PM
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@T&A4Flames The thing is though this kid isn't coming cheap, as he can fall back into a two year TAX FREE deal in Russia that is easily worth 10-15 Million, which is like 20 Million in the NHL.

Honestly its Russia I know, but this kid would be stupid not to think about it as he would be set for life and its just two years.

The best thing though is it doesn't look like he will be in Colorado, one less team to fight with for eight place, hahahahaha.

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#40 seve927
January 15 2013, 02:01PM
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McRib wrote:

@T&A4Flames The thing is though this kid isn't coming cheap, as he can fall back into a two year TAX FREE deal in Russia that is easily worth 10-15 Million, which is like 20 Million in the NHL.

Honestly its Russia I know, but this kid would be stupid not to think about it as he would be set for life and its just two years.

The best thing though is it doesn't look like he will be in Colorado, one less team to fight with for eight place, hahahahaha.

I think he's pretty much set for life either way. It's a matter of what league he wants to play in. If the best Russians are in the NHL, I can't believe a North American kid would play there if he doesn't have to.

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#41 T&A4Flames
January 15 2013, 02:23PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Dont forget, we wouldnt be the only ones wanting Orielly & therefore offers would be competitive. Irving still has that former 1st rounder look to him even though most think he wont be long for the Flames. Last I saw, many wanted to run Backlund out of town, so using him to get OReilly & not have to give up a 1st rounder would be huge & dmen are hard to find, especially if they can play 3-4. I think Brodie is ready to move into top 4 & we have lots of 5-6 options. If OReilly's numbers are that good & his upside is a #1 C well then Feaster would be nuts to not pull the trigger on the deal. Gotta give to get.

I guess I just don't see him as a bonafide future 1st line C and therefor not worth a potential top 5 or even top 10 pick in this draft. Honestly, I think we should be concentrating on aquiring more 1st rnd picks for this draft, not giving them away. An O'Reilly type could easily be found in this draft and quite probably more.

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#42 backburner
January 15 2013, 02:43PM
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@T&A4Flames

It might be too early to tell but he was Colorado's #1 Center last year over Statsny and Duchene, and he's better than any Center on the Flames..

Put it this way, he's as good if not better than any forward on the Flames and he hasn't even reached his full potential yet..

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#43 clyde
January 15 2013, 02:44PM
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The chances of drafting in the top 5 have never been higher for the Flames. This player is not the difference maker that we could potentially be giving up if this deal were to happen.

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#44 kantsequentialist
January 15 2013, 04:16PM
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I'm not sold. If you are trading 2 warm bodies and 2 high draft picks, I think you should expect a higher return. What would the return be if we were talking about a 1st, a 3rd and Chris Butler? 1st 3rd and Backlund/Horak/Byron? Matteau Lombardi, Brandon Prust and a 1st got a 28 year old Jokinen and a 3rd. I'm just saying, 2 NHL skaters a 1st and a 3rd should get more on the open market. It just seems like poor asset managment to me. Don't forget guys, a sub-par asset is still an asset. The fact is, Stajan can jump out of the press box into any of the bottom 9 positions any night agaist any team. Babchuck is also capable of playing bottom 4 minutes against anyone. I'm not saying their great players and we need them on the team, I'm just saying they are not the liablities we all suggest they are.

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#45 Kevin R
January 15 2013, 05:30PM
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kantsequentialist wrote:

I'm not sold. If you are trading 2 warm bodies and 2 high draft picks, I think you should expect a higher return. What would the return be if we were talking about a 1st, a 3rd and Chris Butler? 1st 3rd and Backlund/Horak/Byron? Matteau Lombardi, Brandon Prust and a 1st got a 28 year old Jokinen and a 3rd. I'm just saying, 2 NHL skaters a 1st and a 3rd should get more on the open market. It just seems like poor asset managment to me. Don't forget guys, a sub-par asset is still an asset. The fact is, Stajan can jump out of the press box into any of the bottom 9 positions any night agaist any team. Babchuck is also capable of playing bottom 4 minutes against anyone. I'm not saying their great players and we need them on the team, I'm just saying they are not the liablities we all suggest they are.

Well I think the assumption here is that OReilly would be an excellent target for the Flames seeing we lack at that position & it seems based on the advanced stats, Kent feels it would warrant trying to offer sheet him. Huge step in trying to solve our #1 or #2 Centre position. I think we agree that a 2013 1st & 3rd is not something to mess with so if we offer Colorado something, we have to make it very attractive. I suggested Irving(an asset that probably isnt going to get his chance here), Butler, Backlund & a 2014 2nd almost seems as an overpayment to me but if Oreilly is worth it, all the assets we are giving up here can be replaced as opposed to giving up our 1st & 3rd rounders this year.

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#46 dustin642
January 15 2013, 05:37PM
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O'Reilly is a natural center - capable of playing immediately in Calgary's top 6, has over 200 NHL games of experience and he's freaking 21! Ryan O'Reilly is a spitting image of exactly what the Flames want and need. The Avs (as pointed out in this article) are cheap, and have Matt Duchene & Paul Stasny ahead of him in their depth chart. O'Reilly is wanting 4mil - the Avs are saying no way. An offer of 4.5mil a year x 5 years would require a 1st & 3rd pick for compensation. Now, O'Reilly makes this team better, no denying that. Probably good enough to make the playoffs. We aren't going to pick a player of this caliber with either our 1st or 3rd, especially if we make the playoffs. I know nobody wants to see this team get Phil Kessel'd. Think of it this way: Assume this hypothetical offer sheet is accepted & not matched by the Avs. We surrender a 1st & 3rd. We have basically used a 3rd to travel back in time to select a top 10 pick who is ready to make an immediate impact on this team in a position we are paper thin on. (I realize O'Reilly was drafted in the second round, but he also made the NHL as an 18 year old and has played in super tough situations since then) I realize I have barely coherently rambled on making very few new points (and even mentioning time travel) so I will just stop now.

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#47 Baalzamon
January 15 2013, 06:40PM
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@kantsequentialist

Sorry to disagree on the least important point you made, but Babchuk is definitely the liability we characterize him as. If he played anything that even came close to resembling a facsimilie of 2nd pair minutes, he would appear in the supermarket the next morning as grade F mystery meat. Even if he faced average 3rd pair minutes, he would get royally lambasted.

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#48 clyde
January 15 2013, 09:59PM
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dustin642 wrote:

O'Reilly is a natural center - capable of playing immediately in Calgary's top 6, has over 200 NHL games of experience and he's freaking 21! Ryan O'Reilly is a spitting image of exactly what the Flames want and need. The Avs (as pointed out in this article) are cheap, and have Matt Duchene & Paul Stasny ahead of him in their depth chart. O'Reilly is wanting 4mil - the Avs are saying no way. An offer of 4.5mil a year x 5 years would require a 1st & 3rd pick for compensation. Now, O'Reilly makes this team better, no denying that. Probably good enough to make the playoffs. We aren't going to pick a player of this caliber with either our 1st or 3rd, especially if we make the playoffs. I know nobody wants to see this team get Phil Kessel'd. Think of it this way: Assume this hypothetical offer sheet is accepted & not matched by the Avs. We surrender a 1st & 3rd. We have basically used a 3rd to travel back in time to select a top 10 pick who is ready to make an immediate impact on this team in a position we are paper thin on. (I realize O'Reilly was drafted in the second round, but he also made the NHL as an 18 year old and has played in super tough situations since then) I realize I have barely coherently rambled on making very few new points (and even mentioning time travel) so I will just stop now.

Or... We crap the bed. We have him but could have had Jones or Drouin, etc. O'Reilly is now a 35-45 point center who is our new Gary Leeman. I would rather us keep our homerun opportunity.

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#49 RKD
January 15 2013, 10:06PM
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It's a good idea but I don't think it's the Flames MO to sign guys to offer sheets. I think they would prefer to keep building and developing from within.

Plus, if he is as good as advertised Colorado will match. The Oilers signed Vanek to an offer sheet, and the Sabres were quick to match.

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#50 kantsequentialist
January 15 2013, 10:18PM
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dustin642 wrote:

O'Reilly is a natural center - capable of playing immediately in Calgary's top 6, has over 200 NHL games of experience and he's freaking 21! Ryan O'Reilly is a spitting image of exactly what the Flames want and need. The Avs (as pointed out in this article) are cheap, and have Matt Duchene & Paul Stasny ahead of him in their depth chart. O'Reilly is wanting 4mil - the Avs are saying no way. An offer of 4.5mil a year x 5 years would require a 1st & 3rd pick for compensation. Now, O'Reilly makes this team better, no denying that. Probably good enough to make the playoffs. We aren't going to pick a player of this caliber with either our 1st or 3rd, especially if we make the playoffs. I know nobody wants to see this team get Phil Kessel'd. Think of it this way: Assume this hypothetical offer sheet is accepted & not matched by the Avs. We surrender a 1st & 3rd. We have basically used a 3rd to travel back in time to select a top 10 pick who is ready to make an immediate impact on this team in a position we are paper thin on. (I realize O'Reilly was drafted in the second round, but he also made the NHL as an 18 year old and has played in super tough situations since then) I realize I have barely coherently rambled on making very few new points (and even mentioning time travel) so I will just stop now.

If the hypothetical offer sheet is accepted, we gave up a 1st, a 3rd, and two roster players for O'Rielly (we would have to eat the contracts of likely two players to make room for the 4.5-5mil). This is exactly my point. O'Rielly is not worth those 4 assests. Forget your collective hatred for Stajan and Babchuck for a second and realize that 2 roster players and 2 picks is worth more than this. 18 goals and 37 assists, by the way, is not EXACTLY what we need. Alex Tanguay already provides those kinds of numbers for 3.5 over the next 4. You will remember, when Tanguay made 5 mil, NOBODY thought 18 and 37 was enough. The problem is, O'Reilly is probably worth 3.5 right now. Do you really want to over pay that much betting that he'll get even better? Like we did with Stajan? (who was a young second line Center at the time) Or Bourque? (Who was playing on the first line)

All I'm saying is that offer sheets are not an efficient way to aquire players.

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