Despite being one of the Colorado Avalanche’s most reliable players over the past few seasons, 24-year-old centre Ryan O’Reilly is consistently mentioned as a potential trade chip in Denver.
O’Reilly was a holdout entering the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season, but the Avalanche was forced to match an offer sheet the former second-round pick signed with the Calgary Flames in February 2013. Reunited with the team who selected him 33rd overall in 2009, O’Reilly resumed his role as one of the league’s better two-way centres.
The contract dispute seemingly injected tension between the player and the team, but it appears all is well and good in Colorado now.
Avalanche head coach and vice president of hockey operations Patrick Roy expressed his desire to keep O’Reilly in Colorado Thursday, according to 104.3 The Fan in Denver host Nate Lundy.
O’Reilly has 10 goals and 35 points in 61 games this season.
The Avalanche (26-24-11) have not lived up to expectations in 2014-15, but Roy and Co. clearly (and correctly) see O’Reilly as a part of the long-term solution. That makes one top-six talent you can stand down on heading into Monday’s trade deadline.