O’Reilly and Waivers – Updated

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:

  • Kevin R

    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???????

    • Avalain

      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.

  • Avalain

    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.

    • supra steve

      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.

      • Parallex

        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.

    • Avalain

      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.

      • RexLibris

        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…

        • Avalain

          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.

    • yawto

      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.

      • supra steve

        Yeah, no LAWYER would ever get involved in any “shady” business like this. I’m not saying that it IS what happened, but it is certainly not an impossibility. Your name calling is unnecessary and immature.

  • Oh my gosh, are u kidding me? This just went from dumb and dumber to almost the complete annihilation of this organization. Oh….. Wait, that was last night. We are the laughing stock of the nhl! Nice one Feaster!

  • yawto

    “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.

    • Avalain

      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.

      • Parallex

        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.

        • Avalain

          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.

        • yawto

          See there is problem with your comments right there. I do not deny that he would be the number one center on the flames. The question is who else in the league would he be a #1 center on? Very, very few. He also is cashing in on 1 good year. 1. 26 points his first two seasons. One year at 55 and now he gets over a hundred grand a point? Bad contract. Worse when you factor in the miss by Feaster.

          And again, Franchise player. On a team that features Landeskog and Duchene I highly doubt he will be the face of the franchise. In fact, his breakout seemed to come along with a guy named Landeskog on his line. Before he had a player of that on his line, 26 points. The way you guys toss around ‘Franchise’ in reference to a player is crazy. There are 30 nhl teams, thus there are potentially 30 franchise players. Sure there are some that have multiple (Crosby, Malkin) but there are also teams with none (Columbus). So counting the extras that teams have let’s say there are enough for two per team. Are you honestly telling me that Ryan O’Reilly is one of the top 30 (to be a true franchise) or top 60 in the league.

          I can’t even say for sure that he is in the top 60 centers in the league not even counting the top 30. He is a good player with good upside. He is not Joe Sakic though. Not a Peter Forsberg. Not a Jarome Iginla. If he was, when Sherman was asking for a roster player and a prospect, he would have got it!!! He is a Mike Peca. A good all around center, produces some points ane takes care of his own end. But a franchise player he is not. And if you think he is a franchise player, and are argueing it because of where he would slot in on your team, you are oblivious to the problems your team is truly in.

          And where can we meet Parallax. I would love to take that bet. I would feel extremely confident in the next five years Ryan O’Reilly will be no where near a Franchise level talent.

  • schevvy

    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.


    • RexLibris

      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.

  • yawto

    Love all you guys calling out Sportsnet and the media in general and refusing to believe something the rest of the world already knows: Feaster is a horrible GM. I say that with full acknowledgement that Oilers’ management is less than stellar, but wow. Your ownership just doesn’t know when to give up. Well, enjoy the downward spiral. You can delay it as long as you like, but it’s inevitable.

  • Subversive

    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.

  • Franko J

    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.

  • 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.

  • Skidplate

    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”.

  • seve927

    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.

    • Skidplate

      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.

      • seve927

        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?

        • Skidplate

          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.

          • seve927

            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.

  • Stockley

    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.