“There was never any animosity between us this whole time. Any of the perceived animosity came from the outside.”

That was Joe Sakic today, to the Denver Post, after the Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract, avoiding a potentially nasty arbitration hearing in the process.

Sakic, Colorado’s executive VP of hockey ops, also said the Avs want to keep O’Reilly “long-term” and that “we’ll keep working at it and see what happens.”

The “perceived animosity” remark was an interesting one, though — particularly after what O’Reilly’s agent, Pat Morris, said in June, when he went on the radio and suggested the Avs were playing with fire in their negotiations with his client.