Well, why wouldn’t Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster sign restricted free agent forward Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet?
His team has struggled to draft and develop front-line talent. O’Reilly would be an impact player arriving in his prime. The compensation, first- and third-round picks, is hardly onerous. The pay for next season ($6.5 million) is a little crazy, but, again, we’re talking about a desperate team.
If Colorado Avalanche match that offer sheet, it could not trade him for one year. That will prevent the team from getting a more immediate return for a player the team offered around the league this winter.
Here is how the Twitterverse reacted to this development:
Bob McKenzie, TSN: “Whatever happens, Ryan O'Reilly is going to get approximately $2.9M for playing less than 30 regular season games this NHL season.”
Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo! Sports: “Really like O'Reilly. But not that much, and 29 teams seem to agree. Only takes one.”
E.J. Hradek, NHL Network: “If I'm the Avs, I wait 6 days, 23 hours and 59 seconds before opting to let him leave and take the 1st and 3rd round picks.”
Allan Walsh, player agent: “Calgary's owner was one of the primary advocates of a hardline against the players. Another ‘I just couldn't control myself’ moment?”
Adam Proteau, The Hockey News: “Somewhere, P.K. Subban is looking over Ryan O'Reilly's offer sheet from Calgary and muttering obscenities under his breath.”
Bruce Garrioch, Ottawa Sun: “Flames offer sheet is going to put the screws to Colorado to decide if they want to match.”
Ray Ferraro, TSN: “Biggest part of O Reilly offer sheet to look at is the 2nd year salary . . . the qualifying offer the next season would be in the $6m+ plus range.”
Pierre LeBrun, ESPN.com: “Says a rival Western Conference team exec: ‘Avs will match for sure.’ Well, we shall see . . .”
Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal: “Avs will match on O'Reilly. They have cap room unlike Ducks who didn't when Oil made rogue offer on (Dustin) Penner in 2007.”
Jesse Spector, Sporting News: “Maybe the smartest part of Feaster's plan is avoiding ridicule for whatever he might have done with the first-round pick.”
Sean Leahy, Yahoo! Sports: “Jay Feaster was actually just having a casual chat via fax with Dale Tallon & punched in the wrong number.”