O'Reilly and Waivers - Updated

Kent Wilson
March 01 2013 10:16AM

Chris Jonhston of Sportsnet is claiming that had the Flames signed Ryan O'Reilly to a contract the young center would have had to clear waivers this year to play for the club. Meaning Calgary could have lost a first, a third, and then the player himself to a waiver claim.

This strikes me as implausible. First, because the rule should apply to both teams, not simply the Flames. Ryan O'Reilly signed the same contract with the Avs as he did with the Flames and was a free agent. Why would he have to clear only for the Flames? In addition, I can't see the Flames missing this in their due diligence. I also recall mention previously when we were discussing Karri Ramo that the current CBA erased this provision when it comes to RFA players.

In short, I doubt there's a story here.

UPDATE - according to TSN and Bob MacKenzie, the rule would likely have been interpreted against the Flames, meaning O'Reilly would have been exposed to waivers. I think Calgary would have had an argument in any subsequent greivance, but it's likely it could have been a terrible blow to the franchise had the Avs chosen to wallk away.

All of this rests on a clause depending on the player playing after the NHL season started. So, for instance, had the Flames sent an offer sheet to O'Reilly on Jan 15th when I originally wrote about the topic, this would have been moot.

I suppose it's moot now because Colorado matched the offer, but it seems Calgary dodged a giant bullet. It will be interesting to see if there's any fall-out for the decision-makers as a result. I assume "no" because no actual harm came to the organization, but I guess we'll see.

It's tough to see what was a bold, strategic move blow-up in Feaster's face like this. Sometimes the devil is in the details though. It also shows how hard it is to acquire players like O'Reilly if you aren't able to draft them.

UPDATE 2 - @TMrjmki posted this on twitter today, capturing this whole saga from a Flames fan perspective over the last 24 hours or so:

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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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#101 oilersfanincalgary
March 01 2013, 02:13PM
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@Ryan Pike

At least this shows there were aware of the issue and elected to proceed in any event. You might want to question if it was worth the risk. More importantly if both sides saw the issue the question I have is why didn't they try to confirm the league's position first?

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#102 Colin
March 01 2013, 02:18PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

The Flames just released a statement saying, to paraphrase, "We disagree with the NHL's interpretation, and the O'Reilly camp agreed with our interpretation."

And there it is, like I said previously in the comments, the wording under the MOU is VERY vague at best. The wording on the MOU can easily go either way and depending on how it would be argued very easily interpreted that he doesn't need to go through waivers(Still my interpretation of it).

A lot of people want to jump on the Flames and their terrible management, but quite honestly, it was a very stupid move to offer the offer sheet to ROR when it was just the agent and the Flames that agreed on the wording, honestly they should have waited 1 day and got an advanced ruling from the NHL, cause they could have come out really badly in this.

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#104 kittensandcookies
March 01 2013, 02:28PM
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Wow, that was weird. Can't see how it wouldn't have gone Calgary's way in the end though if Colorado didn't match.

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#105 Colin
March 01 2013, 02:30PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

O'Reilly's agent admitted today he didn't know about it either.

So who is lying then, cause Flames just said they did know about it.

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#106 negrilcowboy
March 01 2013, 02:36PM
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what a joke. lots a intellectual honesty surrounding the flames office today.

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#107 Avalain
March 01 2013, 02:40PM
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@RexLibris

No, the Flames released a statement saying that they disagree with the rule and the O'Reilly camp "agrees" with their interpretation. Not "agreed". Present tense.

They did not say they knew about it beforehand. They said they disagree with how the rule is being interpreted.

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#109 Cowtown 1989
March 01 2013, 02:46PM
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@RexLibris

Pure spin. I would imagine Conny or Weisbrod handle the press for a while.

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#110 Avalain
March 01 2013, 02:48PM
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To be completely fair, I don't think anyone really understood how this part of the rules would work in this particular situation. And that includes the people who wrote the rules in the first place.

No one in their right mind would explicitly write a rule that would mean that giving an offer sheet on a player would result in you losing your picks and getting the player waived and taken away, and even if they weren't in their right mind such a disastrous scenario would be outlined very well.

I expect this portion of the rules will be amended soon (one way or another).

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#111 Avalain
March 01 2013, 02:50PM
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oilersfanincalgary wrote:

If that's true, how do you reconcile that with the Flames statement that "the player's representative shared our interpretation and position ..."?

Heh, because they called the player's representative earlier this morning and asked.

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#112 negrilcowboy
March 01 2013, 02:50PM
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thank god we traded for mcgratton. whats the backlash going to be. yep i trust feasta and company with a rebuild

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#113 Alsker
March 01 2013, 02:55PM
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Holy Soap-opera..think management should quit while theyre ahead, any more comments and they might as well usher them selves out of their offices..they just need to wait for HEAT to die down and all will be well, if we can forget about Klowes blunders you all can forget about Feasters Frollies

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#114 gotommygo
March 01 2013, 03:01PM
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@Scary Gary

'I'm with Tach, didn't the NHL get rid of re-entry waivers?'

They got rid of re-entry waivers for players returning from the minors but I think that re-entry from European leagues is dealt with differently.

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#115 Alt
March 01 2013, 03:03PM
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Bettman and Fehr.Time to step up and earn your millions.No idea how anyone can call these guys savvy businessman,more like dumb and dumber

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#117 Potlicker
March 01 2013, 03:12PM
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OK, just heard Sherman hasnt filed the papers yet, how binding was his verbal intent? Wonder what Daley would say if he said, ohh, I think we change our minds & we wont be matching. Is this at all possible anyone???????

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#118 Colin
March 01 2013, 03:15PM
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Potlicker wrote:

OK, just heard Sherman hasnt filed the papers yet, how binding was his verbal intent? Wonder what Daley would say if he said, ohh, I think we change our minds & we wont be matching. Is this at all possible anyone???????

Only hope, they don't file the paperwork, Feaster's interpretation of the CBA is correct and he can laugh at a lot of the douchey media types.

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#119 Avalain
March 01 2013, 03:21PM
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Potlicker wrote:

OK, just heard Sherman hasnt filed the papers yet, how binding was his verbal intent? Wonder what Daley would say if he said, ohh, I think we change our minds & we wont be matching. Is this at all possible anyone???????

Colorado looks foolish enough already and they'd still lose ROR if they did that.

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#120 ian
March 01 2013, 03:23PM
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I dont know why no one else has figured this out. What really happened seems clear to me... Here it is. Avs said the couldnt pay O'Rielly more than Duchene, but knew he's a 5mil guy. Feaster and Sherman are friends. Sherman called Feaster said sign this, I'll match. Of course Feaster has to act dumb to the waiver clause but wait until this summer when the avs and flames make a sweetheart deal. And as for the avs they get they're player for what hes worth and they tell Matt Duchene, dont worry bud hes not worth more than you but we had to match.

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#121 JF
March 01 2013, 03:28PM
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Potlicker wrote:

OK, just heard Sherman hasnt filed the papers yet, how binding was his verbal intent? Wonder what Daley would say if he said, ohh, I think we change our minds & we wont be matching. Is this at all possible anyone???????

Relax. Sherman is not going to gamble that Feaster is wrong, that a greivence process would say that he is wrong, that potentially the courts say that he is wrong, that any of the teams ahead of them on the waiver wire won't take him. Way to many variables for him to not match.

This changes nothing. They want O'Reilly more then they want the draft picks... they just preferred him long term and on the cheap.

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#122 RexLibris
March 01 2013, 03:28PM
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Avalain wrote:

No, the Flames released a statement saying that they disagree with the rule and the O'Reilly camp "agrees" with their interpretation. Not "agreed". Present tense.

They did not say they knew about it beforehand. They said they disagree with how the rule is being interpreted.

Good catch. Thanks.

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#123 suba steve
March 01 2013, 03:29PM
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ian wrote:

I dont know why no one else has figured this out. What really happened seems clear to me... Here it is. Avs said the couldnt pay O'Rielly more than Duchene, but knew he's a 5mil guy. Feaster and Sherman are friends. Sherman called Feaster said sign this, I'll match. Of course Feaster has to act dumb to the waiver clause but wait until this summer when the avs and flames make a sweetheart deal. And as for the avs they get they're player for what hes worth and they tell Matt Duchene, dont worry bud hes not worth more than you but we had to match.

Kinda what I was thinking last night. Calgary's offer did end the stalemate between COL and ROR, so not necessarily bad for COL. They will be paying him well, but not locked in for 7 years or anything stupid. Not out of the realm of possibility that the whole thing went exactly as planned by CGY and COL.

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#124 Avalain
March 01 2013, 03:29PM
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ian wrote:

I dont know why no one else has figured this out. What really happened seems clear to me... Here it is. Avs said the couldnt pay O'Rielly more than Duchene, but knew he's a 5mil guy. Feaster and Sherman are friends. Sherman called Feaster said sign this, I'll match. Of course Feaster has to act dumb to the waiver clause but wait until this summer when the avs and flames make a sweetheart deal. And as for the avs they get they're player for what hes worth and they tell Matt Duchene, dont worry bud hes not worth more than you but we had to match.

Or perhaps Feaster made a real attempt at an offer sheet that would be difficult for Colorado to match, but Colorado was basically just waiting for someone to put up an offer sheet so that they didn't have to deal with O'Rielly's agent directly.

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#125 ian
March 01 2013, 03:45PM
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@Avalain

If this really happened. And the flames were really at risk of losing O'rielly a potential top 5 pick and a third rounder, Feaster will be out of a job, TODAY. I'm not buying it...

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#126 oilersfanincalgary
March 01 2013, 03:51PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Good catch. Thanks.

Except that the Flames statement says that "Prior to tendering the offer sheet" they examined Article 13 of the transition rules and that "throughout our discussions the player's representative shared our interpretation and position.

This does talk about the past tense, not the present.

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#127 Parallex
March 01 2013, 03:53PM
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@suba steve

Considering that the only party that comes out of this without egg on the face is Ryan O'Reilly who now get's all the money he was asking for (more actually), locked in 6.5M+ qualifying offer in a year and a half (or free agency at 24), eligibility for arbitration... I'm gonna say no... this was not some GM scheme.

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#128 the-wolf
March 01 2013, 04:17PM
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Not to mention it's collusion and illegal.

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#129 yawto
March 01 2013, 04:18PM
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ian wrote:

I dont know why no one else has figured this out. What really happened seems clear to me... Here it is. Avs said the couldnt pay O'Rielly more than Duchene, but knew he's a 5mil guy. Feaster and Sherman are friends. Sherman called Feaster said sign this, I'll match. Of course Feaster has to act dumb to the waiver clause but wait until this summer when the avs and flames make a sweetheart deal. And as for the avs they get they're player for what hes worth and they tell Matt Duchene, dont worry bud hes not worth more than you but we had to match.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Wow. Normally I do not call people out this blatantly but you are dumb. You are argueing that Feaster is a lawyer and so smart and at the same time are saying that in your mom's basement wearing your vintage Loob jersey you have figured out that these two men have been planning collusion? Are you mental. You do realise that if they were dumb enough to do that they would get caught.

The reason why 'no one else has figured it out' is becuase the only person who is dumb enough to think that these guys would risk thier credibility and career is you. If they were dumb enough to do this, they would have got caught, would have got fined, would have got penalized and would have been black listed in the NHL. Just pull up your socks, tuck in that Loob jersey, eat the mac and cheese your mom just made you and shut up. This comment is moronic. Also, just accept the fact that your GM made a mistake and got lucky. Nothing more to it.

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#130 Avalain
March 01 2013, 04:27PM
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ian wrote:

If this really happened. And the flames were really at risk of losing O'rielly a potential top 5 pick and a third rounder, Feaster will be out of a job, TODAY. I'm not buying it...

Ok, honestly, the most plausible reason for this is that everyone just simply missed it. I highly doubt there was any sort of conspiracy theory on the whole thing. I don't necessarily think that anyone deserves to get fired because it's all moot anyway at this point in time.

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#131 Avalain
March 01 2013, 04:31PM
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yawto wrote:

“It’s not often you get a chance to get a franchise player,” Feaster told Sportsnet’s Roger Millions during Thursday’s Flames-Avalanche game in Denver.

Regardless of what did or didn't happen, that comment alone is reason for firing. O'Reilly may be a good player but Franchise. WOW.

I'm not necessarily sold on him either, but you can't really deny that he would be the #1 center in Calgary and at least 2 teams (Calgary and Colorado) are willing to give him 6.5 mil next year.

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#132 Parallex
March 01 2013, 04:54PM
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Avalain wrote:

I'm not necessarily sold on him either, but you can't really deny that he would be the #1 center in Calgary and at least 2 teams (Calgary and Colorado) are willing to give him 6.5 mil next year.

Not a franchise player now? Sure I can buy that... but he's a tough minute, 50-60 point, selke worthy Center at 22 years of age. I'd bet more money on him being a Franchise level player at age 25-29 then I would bet on the opposite. He's really really good.

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#133 Avalain
March 01 2013, 05:00PM
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Parallex wrote:

Not a franchise player now? Sure I can buy that... but he's a tough minute, 50-60 point, selke worthy Center at 22 years of age. I'd bet more money on him being a Franchise level player at age 25-29 then I would bet on the opposite. He's really really good.

Hm. Maybe I didn't word this correctly but I was trying to defend him being called a franchise player.

My point was basically that it wasn't just Calgary that felt he was a franchise player since Colorado matched the offer sheet.

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#134 TReoil
March 01 2013, 05:18PM
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borisnikov wrote:

From your "friends" up the QE2 LMAO...LMAO...LMAO...LMAO

As an Oiler Fan i'm having a blast with the ROR saga!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What a joke Feaster is....lmao

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#135 RexLibris
March 01 2013, 05:37PM
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schevvy wrote:

Drink. Drink. Drink.

These past 24 hours have been mind-numbing. I don't know what to say. Surprised they haven't hired the back-up goalie (Taylor) up to be GM a la Islanders.

Drink.

Wait, are you saying that Feaster's mind is numb, or...

;-)

I suspect that management would give anything to have another game tonight or tomorrow. Something needs to happen to change the headlines.

And Edwards isn't Wong. The Flames are hitting a rough patch right now, but they nowhere near as dysfunctional as the Islanders. That group of clowns should have their franchise revoked.

Remember to switch it up, spirits and beer, once in awhile. Just to keep the liver from suffering alcoholic ennui.

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#136 Alt
March 01 2013, 08:37PM
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schevvy wrote:

Drink. Drink. Drink.

These past 24 hours have been mind-numbing. I don't know what to say. Surprised they haven't hired the back-up goalie (Taylor) up to be GM a la Islanders.

Drink.

I,ll bet that Feaster ,King,and Edwards are on a runaway right now.Let.s just hope it lasts 2 weeks to diminish the potential for more FU,S

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#137 Subversive
March 01 2013, 09:28PM
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The biggest problem I have with this whole thing is how in the world do Feaster and company take their interpretation of something like this and make a decision, WITHOUT CHECKING WITH THE LEAGUE FIRST? Simple thing to do, "Hey, NHL office rules person guy dude, we're thinking of offer sheeting Ryan O'Reilly, can you confirm there wouldn't be any waiver requirement if we sign him?"

So mickey mouse it boggles the mind.

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#138 Franko J
March 01 2013, 11:09PM
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Wasn't Feaster the GM in Tampa who was responsible for TB drafting Stamkos?

I don't if there is stat out there, but how many times has a GM drafted 1st overall with two different franchises?

I'm not shocked or surprised this latest maneuver by Feaster and Flames management has blown up in their faces. While I was not in favour as Sutter as GM, at the very least, he was respected by fellow GM's. What Feaster did yesterday may have been gutsy with an offer sheet to O'Reilly, I believe their will be repercussions in future transaction or trades with fellow GM's. The saddest part about this whole fiasco is a franchise which once was a cornerstone in the NHL is gradually becoming the joke of the league.

I just never thought I would see the day where the Calgary Flames organization would be such an embarrassment and loose so much respectability throughout the league.

While the team continues to struggle on the ice I was confident ownership would always make things better for the fans. I thought the seven years without playoffs was some of the darkest days for this franchise, I'm beginning to wonder what direction this team is really heading.

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#139 Walter Sobchak
March 02 2013, 07:10AM
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Not sure if this has been brought up yet or not, so I apologize for stepping on anyone toes.

This is all about saving face for everyone involved.

They all should have known about it.

If you recall, the Predators went through this last year when Radulov decided he was going to return to the Predators.

Gm's argued Radulov would have to clear waivers because he was in the KHL, Poile argued that he was a player who was under contract who went AWOL and is fulfilling his contractual obligations and thus not open to waivers.....the NHL agreed to this.

This was still part of the CBA going forward, the only "new" part of the CBA was the AHL waiver.

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#140 Skidplate
March 02 2013, 07:14AM
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Just think, what ever happens to Feaster (fired I would hope), his name will always be remembered. Article 13 of the transition rules will forever and always be known as the "Feaster Clause".

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#141 seve927
March 02 2013, 08:44AM
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So here's something (one of many things, actually) that doesn't make sense to me. Why was this offer for two years? If you wanted this guy right now, why would you make this offer sheet easy to match? It hasn't made sense to me from the start, and I've been searching for answers. I don't think the Flames wanted O'Reilly right now. I don't think they wanted to give up picks in the 2013 draft. They want to give their 2013 picks, oh, say 2 years to develop, then make a real offer sheet to Ryan O'Reilly if he's actually proven to be a 7 million dollar player in 2013. By making the offer sheet, they eliminated the possibility of his being traded before 2015. The Avalanche have 8 RFA's scheduled for that year right now.

Right now the Flames would have added O'Reilly to a group of centers that includes (and is limited to) Matt Stajan. Probably add Mikael Backlund for the second half. Not a likely cup winning set of centers, but he adds enough to lower your draft standing and maybe even put you into the playoffs.

So what if you look ahead to 2015. You have a pretty good set of wingers, and a couple of blue chips prospects coming up. With the current group of centers, you're probably going to get a top 10 pick. Add some more 2013 picks, and a reasonable set of current set of prospects at middle ice including Reinhart, Arnold and Jankowski (in order of likelihood of succeeding in my mind), and how are things looking for 2015? You've established a relationship with O'Reilly, you got him back playing hockey for what he wanted, and you got some true prospects into your system.

Now look at the structure of the offer sheet. Evil genius was one term I heard. Really? Was there ever a chance they wouldn't match? I don't think so. I don't know (I'm not in the boardrooms like a lot of people here) if the Flames knew about the risks of losing their picks, but I wouldn't doubt that they believed for the likelihood of the sheet not being matched, it was a reasonable risk to have to fight the NHL if it weren't.

But if the plan is actually for having a team ready to contend in 2015, it really does start to make some sense. O'Reilly is still with a team known to be very cheap, and 9 RFA's to sign. He is now 23 and has 5 NHL seasons under his belt, and if there were any risk right now, it is less by then. The Flames, if they make some moves now, might actually be able to afford to lose some picks by then. Will the Avs be able to match a 8 year 52+ million offer sheet? Now that's a low risk high reward plan.

If something is truly unbelievable, which I would say this situation is, I think there has to be a reason. This makes much more sense to me than the way it is currently being reported. Hell, maybe the fiasco was even planned to give them a reason to seemingly change their course, or give Iginla reason to waive his NTC.

The next month will be interesting. If nothing happens, then I continue to be at a loss.

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#142 Skidplate
March 02 2013, 08:54AM
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@seve927

WOW! You really believe in your team don't you.

I think it is time to admit that the management group messed up and were incredibly lucky that Col. matched the offer.

It takes a big person to admit they made a mistake. I guess Feaster isn't that kind of guy.

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#143 seve927
March 02 2013, 09:09AM
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@Skidplate

Maybe, I'm not even sure. It just really makes no sense to me that the offer was 2 years. The scenario I described above makes sense. Would you agree with that? Regardless of what they're actually doing, would that kind of move make sense?

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#144 Skidplate
March 02 2013, 09:22AM
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@seve927

Sorry seve927, your scenario does not make sense to me. Feaster has stated over and over that he wants to win now. He thought that by signing ROR now, he helps accomplish his goal. He and his team messed up IMO.

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#145 seve927
March 02 2013, 09:25AM
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@Skidplate

Fair enough *Edit* Actually my question was "regardless of what you think they're doing" Would that move make sense for Team X *End Edit*. This allows me to sleep at night, so I'm going with it. For another month anyway.

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#146 Stockley
March 02 2013, 10:00AM
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If this team moves those draft picks in some misguided scheme to 'go for it' I very seriously might be done as a fan. They haven't just dropped the ball this season, the have punted it into orbit and have no idea how to pick it up again. Might be time for this bunch to stop acting like intellectual snobs and start doing some work to locate the pulse of their fan base. We pay all of their salaries essentially. Whether fans start staying away from the 'Dome because the team sucks or because they finally wised up and moved out some of those complacent veterans might be 'academic' at this point. We are pissed off. Mr. Edwards, Mr. King, Mr. Feaster... you might want to do something about that.

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#147 Bruins
March 02 2013, 10:56AM
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@Stockley

Your bang on Stockley but are they going to fix the problem or tweak it and do they listen to the fans or the cash registers?

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