Negotiations between the Avalanche and left wing Ryan O'Reilly toward a long-term contract appear at a standstill, so they are headed to arbitration July 23, an NHL source said Thursday.

The Avs and O'Reilly still could avoid arbitration by agreeing to a deal before then, but such a prospect appears unlikely. They haven't had any substantive contract talks since the team filed for arbitration last month.

What it means is this: O'Reilly will have his next contract's terms dictated by an arbitrator, who will present the 23-year-old forward with the choice of a one- or two-year binding contract, and O'Reilly will have to decide which one to take.

An arbitrator can't award O'Reilly less than 85 percent of his base salary of $6.5 million last season. That guarantees him at least $5.525 million in salary with the Avs for the 2014-15 season.

O'Reilly's salary cap hit the past two seasons was $5 million. The difference between that number and his last base salary is the crux of the difference between the Avs and O'Reilly's representatives at Newport Sports, a high-powered agency based in Ontario. The arbitration hearing is expected to be in Toronto. The arbitrator must make a decision no more than 48 hours after the hearing ends.

When the Avs filed for arbitration with O'Reilly, they did it because the team would have had to give him a qualifying offer of his last base salary — $6.5 million — to retain his rights because he is a restricted free agent.

O'Reilly could have pocketed that, or even declined it and held out for more — and he has held out from the team once before, which led to him receiving a two-year, $10 million offer sheet from the Calgary Flames in 2013.