Ryan O’Reilly is headed to club elected salary arbitration and the date is set for July 23. The Colorado Avalanche and O’Reilly still have until July 15 to work out a new long term contract, but if no deal is reached, O’Reilly will head to arbitration in Toronto.
O’Reilly made $6.5 million last season, but only had a cap hit of $5 million. As a restricted free agent, the Avs had to make an offer of at least $6.5 million to retain his rights, but instead decided to take O’Reilly club elected salary arbitration in order to get that number down. An arbitrator will rule how much O’Reilly will be owed next season, but the number won’t be any lower than $5.5 million.
O’Reilly, 23, is coming off the best season of his career as he scored 28 goals and put up 64 points. He also won the Lady Byng Trophy at this year’s NHL Awards Ceremony.
Thoughts: The saga finally has an end date. I’ve always maintained the thought that they wouldn’t be able to work out a long term deal, and even though there is still time left, it looks very unlikely. On July 23, Ryan O’Reilly will present his side, the Avs will present their side, and my guess is that the Avs will be happy with the ruling because I have a hard time seeing an arbitrator awarding O’Reilly more than Avalanche teammate Matt Duchene.