Ryan O’Reilly has made his case. He is looking for a 1 year, $6.75 million dollar deal from the Colorado Avalanche in Wednesday’s arbitration hearing. The Avalanche is looking to pay him $5.5 million. Both sides have filed their paperwork and now await their hearing in Toronto on Wednesday.
O’Reilly had the option of taking a one or two year deal and opted for the one-year deal, meaning and the Avs and O’Reilly could be back in this same position next year unless O’Reilly is traded or the two sides some how agree to a long term contract before O’Reilly can hit free agency in two years.
Thoughts: Our own Nadia Archuleta covered the story a bit, which you can read here. She made a lot of the same points that I happen to agree with. O’Reilly isn’t worth the $6.75 million he’s seeking. If Ryan O’Reilly were to have a cap hit of $6.75 million, that would put him in the top 30 highest paid players in the league. You’re telling me that O’Reilly is a top 30 player in the league? He’s not even the top player on his team. That of course is the Avalanche argument: Matt Duchene is better than Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene makes $6 million, why should Ryan O’Reilly make more than him? If the arbitrator splits the difference, that would put O’Reilly at the $6 million mark for one year.
I think the Avs should just cut ties with O’Reilly as fast as they can and trade him while he still has plenty of value. I listed plenty of trade options, which you can read here. It’s certainly going to be an interesting day on Wednesday.