They probably have for at least a couple weeks now.
There is absolutely no negotiating going on anymore between Ryan O’Reilly and the Avalanche. While the Avs were optimistic right after the lockout ended that they could sign O’Reilly and my sources said he would not be traded, things have changed and it appears a virtual certainty O’Reilly will be traded now.
Back when we discussed a potential ROR offer sheet, it was a suggestion made partially in jest since it seemed unlikely the Avalanche would allow this feud with arguably their best (or at least second best) young forward to go too far.
According to Dater and supported by Darren Dreger of TSN, it seems things have come to a head with O’Reilly and Colorado however. The rumor now is the team is looking for a roster player and high-end prospect in a trade for the 21-year old pivot.
Unfortunately for the Avs, they don’t have a lot of leverage when it comes to making demands for a quality package. If their wish list outstrips what they would get in return for an offer sheet (a first and third round pick for anything around $5M/year) then the suitor can simply walk away and sign the kid instead.
This is an opportunity the Flames must seriously investigate. Not only do high-end, two-way centers rarely become available, they can almost never be had at an age where you can expect to lock them up long-term and enjoy their peak seasons. Not only that, the kid fills both the present and future needs of an org that is trying to compete with a center depth chart that currently reads Tanguay (winger), Stajan, Byron, Jones, (Horak, Street, Reinhart).
It’s a no-brainer for Calgary to make a strong play for O’Reilly at this point. We’ll soon see if Jay Featser agrees.