There were so many delicious story lines with the Ryan O'Reilly saga, a word that Webster's defines as to give "prose narrative to legendary ... heroic figures and events."

Problem is, there weren't any heroes in this saga. In that sense, it was more just a plain old sad tale. The lesson the Avalanche should have learned from this? Don't let things get personal.

The Avs can deny it all day long, but things did get a little personal between them and a player with whom they never should have had any problems.

O'Reilly and his agents can deny it all day long, but they also were guilty of making it personal.

When they had differences on O'Reilly's value — honest, everyday differences — the sides stopped talking. The Avalanche let a valuable player sit around and do nothing while injuries to key players piled up and the situation cried out for relief.