Ryan O'Reilly was presumed to be on the trading block, with stalled negotiations between the Avalanche and the restricted free agent's Toronto-based advisers. O'Reilly's father, in fact, said the relationship between his son and the Avs was ruined, and a trade was inevitable.
But thanks to the Calgary Flames, the Avs' opponent Thursday at the Pepsi Center, O'Reilly will remain in Colorado.
Hours after the Flames signed the holdout to a rare offer sheet for $10 million (prorated) over two years, the Avs matched it, agreeing to pay him what they previously wouldn't.
O'Reilly is scheduled to return to Denver soon to report for a physical and could join the team for its next game, Sunday at Columbus, which begins a three-game road trip.
"This was a goal of ours from the onset to get Ryan signed and that goal was completed today," Avs general manger Greg Sherman said Thursday night. "Sometimes the process takes a little longer than you would expect, or you would want."
Sherman said teams called to inquire about a trade for O'Reilly, but their intention was to sign him.
Sherman seemed irate when talking about the Flames' offer, which included forfeiting a first- and third-round draft pick to the Avs if Colorado didn't match. Attempting to poach a restricted free agent from another team is legal under the collective bargaining agreement, but considered unethical.
"Hey, look, it's their right within the CBA if that's the way they want to do their business," Sherman said. "The fact that we received the offer today, the day of the game against them, again, that's their prerogative, that's their business. Calgary made a decision to use rights that they had to put forth an offer sheet.
"We also have our rights within the CBA to match that. Ultimately that's the business we're in. In terms of how you want to characterize it, I'll leave that to you. But we're happy to have him under contract."


Read more: Ryan O'Reilly's offer from Flames matched by Avalanche - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_22690792/ryan-oreilly-signed-offer-sheet-by-calgary-flames#ixzz2MI1bEvE4
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