Brian O’Reilly, the father of unsigned Avs center Ryan O’Reilly, sent an email to me today. It was his response to someone who was presumably an Avs fan and wanted to know more about Ryan’s situation, and to give best wishes toward him.
He gave me permission to reprint that response here. Brian is a life coach, running his own business called Human Potential Plus. It has been lightly touched up for a couple minor spelling and punctuation things, but reads as follows:

“Thank you for your kind words. This is not about money and never has been. As you know you don’t build team based on dollars. If you did then the people with the most expensive players would be our champion . You build a team on its character. Ryan is not a superstar based on skill but character. I know this for a fact the players he was yesterday will not be the player he was tomorrow he will continue to grow learn and thrive .The world values it less and less, yet everyone is looking for those players that eat sleep and drink the game and are unselfish plus compete because they are intrinsically motivated for excellence. This is another trait humankind is slowly losing! It used to be a bigger part of our game because we used to let kids develop character and test themselves without all the importance put on systems methods and criteria of adults. My children were raised in an environment of sport where Athletics was held up as something you do to develop your sense of personhood, qualities of-collaboration,team play and most important the development of your character, mental toughness as an individual and it was FUN from which you Learn. How many goals you got or how many points you got was not how you measured yourself. What was important was giving your best day in day out. Leadership was shown on a daily bases, by treating people well even those they miss treat you. In the world today we are losing our sense of meaning and purpose my by devaluing people worth in ways that are ridiculous And Absurd.

If my son was getting 95 in math we wouldn’t ask him to get 65 so the rest of the students in the classroom could feel better about themselves. Many parents have stories about their kids excelling in certain areas but they are asked to tone it down because you’re making the other kids not look as good or feels good about themselves. Is this not a Testament to the fact that we are not teaching our kids character. This would never happen in the classroom. So to a kid who isn’t as Academically gifted but in the arts or character, athletically Or proficiency in a certain skill why does it have to be devalued. So we ask the person who has a tremendous amount of character to take less money for his character yet it is the essential building block any team matter of fact the key Ingredient. Many coaches will tell you that On any given day anybody can beat anybody , But the teams that win in the end are the teams that have the strongest character ,the will to win the necessity to compete but more important strive to be better. These players of character hate losing and when they do lose they self evaluate they don’t evaluate the other teammates they take responsibility for the loss, learn and come back and beat you the next time. I know the character of my son and when he heard that Gabriel was chosen as the captain he was thrilled for him and said he’s got a great work ethic and he’s a great player he’d make a good captain.