Flames Must Make a Play For O’Reilly

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.

Via Adrian Dater

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.

  • Man, lots of people looking to get something for nothing. If you want a guy who you think a legit 1st line center, the team’s top scorer and a possession juggernaut, than no amount of B prospects or has-beens is going to get it done.

    You have to give to get.

    O’Reilly vs. Bertschi – who would do it? Just curious, because realistically, the Avs aren’t just going to give O’Reilly away.

    • loudogYYC

      O’Reilly will no doubt be the best player in the trade, but that doesn’t mean COL is dealing from a position of strength. It’s almost like the Luongo fiasco in Vancouver, except O’Reilly fits more teams plans, has a better future and doesn’t come with a 10 year cap hit (bonehead signing of the decade).

      Baertschi would probably be enough to get Sherman interested, but why would you trade your most promising prospect in 10 years to a team that was pretty much forced to trade?

      That’s why I brought up Cammy at 50%, Granlund, Nemisz and a 3rd. You can’t return equal quality, so you shower them with decent quantity. Nemisz is a player Colorado would probably make a staple on their 3rd line and Granlund is probably a top 50 prospect in the NHL. Cammalleri makes their top 6 better and they only have to spend $3M to have him.

      • MattyFranchise

        Plus sending Granlund reunites brothers that performed reasonably well together in Europe. Older Granlund is clearly a player that Colorado wants to keep and having his brother playing there can only help.

        I like your trade proposal but I’d want O’Reilly and a 2nd in return. 3mil Squid and Granlund should be worth ROR and Nemisz and a 3rd have got to be worth a 2nd.

      • T&A4Flames

        If they have interest in Cammi, sure, I would move him. But I wouldn’t take 50% of his cap. You have to expect Cammi to be a 25-30 goal scorer and a proven PO performer. At most I would do a 60-40 split; so we would pay 2mil/yr on the remainder of his contract. We still have to sign ROR after all.

        • loudogYYC

          I would prefer not to pay 50% of his salary but because they are so damn cheap, it would likely be necessary. They don’t want to spend more than $3.4M per season on O’Reilly, I doubt they would spend $4M on Cammy. His contract is up after next season anyway, so it’ll kinda have the buy-out effect on Calgary’s $64M cap.

  • T&A4Flames

    People are getting pretty excited about this guy. Admittedly, I don’t know a whole lot about him. So, I have a few questions that maybe some people here can answer.

    1) What’s the status of his injury?

    2) How was his production in the KHL?

    3) I heard his #’s in junior were not particularly great. True?

    4) Everyone is saying a 2nd line C. Are we really interested in giving up a potential MacKinnon/Jones draft pick for a 2nd C when we already have Backlund?

    I would certainly look to move some pieces for ROR, but I wouldn’t break the bank for him. I would go as far as to replace my *earlier offer of Butler + with JBo but that is it and that likely still puts in a lottery position.

    *Butler + Granlund/Arnold + conditional 1st

    **Edit. if throwing in Jbo instead of Butler, we need to get at least a 2nd in return as well.

    • ROR’s strength in junior was feeding guys like Taylor Hall their lunch in head to head match ups. He’s that kind of guy and has always been somewhat motivated by being disrespected.

      This contract squabble appears to be the manifestation of his wanting to be respected.

      Nothing wrong with that as he clearly values himself to a level that the Av’s are unwilling to meet financially. He is an intriguing player for every team in the league and he knows it. I wish him luck in his efforts to line up the Brinks truck as I am most certain he will.

      Although arguably an excellent fit in Calgary… there is scant evidence to support the abilities of current management to pull it off. But… theres always a first time! 🙂

  • He’s not worth what he wants. They guy had a decent year and wants crazy money. Was he playing with Landeskog? Why would we trade a guy like Cervenka who is 27? We are short on guys in that age range. I’m just pretty sure if we were to get this guy and give him the money he wants we would be hating it almost as bad as stajan’s contract. I wouldn’t give this kid more than 3.7 mill a year for 2 years to prove he’s good then if he wants money go for it. I don’t like moving prospects either. Unless it’s a guy who needs a change of scenery then fine but none of our guys other than nemisz or maybe byron fit that bill. We can’t afford to give up any draft picks at this draft it will just set us back again for the future. If a trade involving any of Glencross, stempniak, butler, byron or nemisz were to happen then sure but that’s only if we signed this guy for less than 4mill a year and 2 years

  • I’m really hesitant about letting go of Baertchi, Gaudreau, and/or our first and third picks. To me it is too much of a lateral move. I still think Glencross and Bill Arnold are are a strong start to a potential deal. If they demand more in the form of Sielhoff or Wotherspoon or Granlund, get BACK a second rounder either this year or next. That would be out of the ordinary….Calgary actually acquiring a second rounder, not giving it up.

  • so basically he’s a defensive forward that got an offensive boost from playing with a guy like Landeskog. Worth all the prospects and money people want us to throw at him? I’m really not so sure we want to sell the farm for this kid.

  • MattyFranchise

    As much as I hate to say it maybe the Flames should employ a Canucks like strategy and keep Stajan on the Czech line to pump his tires a bit and use him as trade bait.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    No, I’ll pass on this guys. Young kid sitting at home while is TEAM struggles because 3.5 million isn’t enough.

    No thanks. Would rather trade for players who want to play hockey and have a passion to compete.

  • Kevin R

    Wow people! I read this thinking Mr ROR is the next Crosby or something. Take a deep breath and consider the following:

    1/Last year the kid had a career year, I call that buying high.

    2/Check the standings where the Flames sit, do we “really really want to give up our 1st & 3rds in a phenomenal draft”???

    3/Colorado will not trade ROR to any Division rival unless it is an absolute rediculous overpayment. Calgary does not have the young NHL ready “A” prospects to get a deal done.

    4/There are a lot of teams needing a 1 or 1A centre, why havent they offer sheeted this kid yet.

    I realize many on this site refuse to accept this, but there is a very very good chance Flames are going to be sellers by as early as March 15th. Our Franchise goalie is down. Our Franchise player is up to his usual slow starts at the worst possible time with 1 goal in 10 games & is starting to look frustrated which will turn to disinterest soon enough. As badly as we all want to add a huge shower of hope in the near future, the Flames are simply not in a position to entertain this type move. This team needs to be a seller this year & then we wont have to watch from the sidelines when this happens again next year. We’ll have good prospects & cap space to burn & we wouldnt have to burn the house down to put ourselves in that situation.

    • McRib

      Could not agree more ROR reminds me of Patrice Bergeron who had his best season of his career at 21 and everyone was comparing him to Crosby. ROR may have just peaked early.

  • Old Soldier

    O’Reilly would be a great pickup for the Flames, or any other club in this situation, but there is one sticking point. Colorado according to Dreger is only interested in talking to Eastern Conference teams with the possible inclusion of Columbus with the new alignment.

    As far as the possible trades listed above, come on, Backlund? Camalleri? be serious. If the kid is drawing the interest of as many clubs as has been indicated, you arent going to get him for bit parts and rusting wheels. You can guarantee any conversation with Col if they were willing to deal with a western team would involve Baerschti and another piece.

    I can see him going to Columbus for Johansen and at least one of their 1st rounders, possibly more.

    As far as those mentioning offer sheets…the new CBA basically makes them useless. Without being able to frontend a contract with a ridiculous amount of bonus money, any team would match and trade, so why generate the hostility?

  • McRib

    Just so everyone knows, by saying you are for signing Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet…. You are basically saying…….

    Ryan O’Reilly —–> Calgary

    Seth Jones/Nathan MacKinnon —-> Colorado

    So unless you want to trade a Sven/Gaudreau or two of Backlund, Hudler, Brodie, Brossoit and Wotherspoon its not happening. Because plain and simple if the Flames cannot score two goals on Minnesota they are not getting out of the basement anytime soon.

  • Purple Hazze

    Come on feaster make this happen! But I wouldn’t give up a 1st or anyone on Kent’s untouchable list. Seems like a roster player like glencross/stemniak + prospect + 2014 2nd should be a “fair” trade.

    We have a decent trading history with the Avalanche, they gave us Reghier for Fluery, Chris Drury and Yelle for Derek Morris, and Tanguy for Leopold. Colorado’s been giving us assets for nothing since they moved from Quebec so why stop now? Get on that phone Feaster!

  • MC Hockey

    Did anyone look at O’Reilly’s counting stats for NHL and OHL? Not first line material except last year…could be early peaking talent. But again underlying posession and WOWY stats are good so nod to Kent and others who point that out.