Avalanche feel ‘no choice’ but to trade O’Reilly

Watch as Avalanche centre Ryan O'Reilly scores an easy goal after a bizarre Oilers giveaway.

It appears less and less likely the Colorado Avalanche and centre Ryan O’Reilly will come to terms on a long-term contract extension.

According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, O’Reilly’s asking price might be too high for the Avalanche.

The Avalanche subsequently acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Carl Soderberg of the Boston Bruins Thursday afternoon. Soderberg is a quality two-way centre that would potentially fill a void left down the middle should the Avalanche decide to move O’Reilly.

This move comes one week after Avalanche GM Joe Sakic told reporters on a conference call that the team hoped to sign the 33rd overall pick from the 2009 NHL Draft to a contract extension.

“I’ve had early conversations with his representatives,” Sakic said. “We know where they’re at. Like I said [in April], I’d like to have him signed by the start of the season hopefully. But right now is the time where we’re focusing on the draft and free agency to see where we can improve our team.

“I like Ryan a lot. He’s a very valuable player, a part of our core. My first priority would be to sign him. We’ll see where it all goes. I’d prefer him not playing [the season] out. I think distractions alone … I don’t think the team needs it, I don’t think he needs it. That’s why it’s important for us that we have something done.”

O’Reilly is entering the final year of his contract before becoming a UFA in 2016. His current salary cap hit is $6 million. In 82 games this past season, the 2014 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner had 17 goals and 38 assists.

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