Should the Colorado Avalanche Trade Ryans?


So, contract talks and Ryan are in the news, only this time it’s not Ryan O’Reilly — it’s Bobby Ryan. The Ottawa Senators have reportedly offered him a seven-year deal to keep him from hitting unrestricted free agency after this season. The elite scorer is dragging his heels a bit. He hedged:

"“You’re hitching your wagon to a team for seven years, it’s ok to take some time to realize if it’s what you want.”"

What’s holding him back? Ryan continued by saying:

"“Everything I’ve said and still feel is that I’d love to be here long term, but you need some assurance, some motivating factor.”"

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Pundits speculate that means he wants an expanded role on the team. That’s probable. However, there’s one other factor — the Senators just aren’t any good. They struggled so badly last season. While Ryan had a piece of that, he still performed very well for a forward who was skating with a herniated hip.

Bobby Ryan may want to get back onto a winning team, like he was on with the Anaheim Ducks. And that’s where the Colorado Avalanche come into play — they’re a winning team with a bright future.

The Colorado Avalanche also have their own reluctant Ryan — and this time, I am talking O’Reilly.

Reluctant Ryan O’Reilly

So, O’Reilly has proven he isn’t committed to playing for the Avalanche. Sure, he finally signed a contract at the 11th hour. He’s been performing very well at training camp. However, there’s no way his heart is in it for the Avalanche.

He’s tied with Matt Duchene for highest-paid player at $6 million per year — actually, he’ll make $5.8 million this coming season. That’s essentially a pay cut since he made $6.5 million last season. No one likes to take a pay cut. Players who had a career season and won an award especially hate taking pay cuts.

Add to that the fact that O’Reilly signed for only two years, after which he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Sure, Joe Sakic has said that O’Reilly is one of the Avalanche’s key players. However, if they weren’t willing to pay him more than Duchene this year, why would they do so in two years’ time. In short, O’Reilly’s days are likely numbered with the Avalanche

Chasing Bobby Ryan

Colorado has almost certainly learned from the Paul Stastny situation. They’ll want to get something for a player before he’s released into free agency. Why shouldn’t the Avalanche go big and chase Bobby Ryan?

Not everyone agrees that Bobby Ryan is a better player than Ryan O’Reilly. Let’s take a look at some simple statistics courtesy of Sporting Charts:

A comparison of Bobby Ryan’s and Ryan O’Reilly’s stats.

O’Reilly’s last season was better than Ryan’s — preceded by a several years’ worth of better seasons for Ryan. Ryan has also scored 30+ goals four times in his career, while O’Reilly has never hit that mark.

As of right now, Ryan’s also cheaper than O’Reilly, earning $5.56 million to O’Reilly’s $5.8 million. Granted Ryan’s going to probably be paid a lot more after this season. O’Reilly’s going to be asking for more in two seasons.

The biggest obstacle to whether or not the Avalanche should chase after Bobby Ryan is the fact that he’s reluctant to sign a long-term contract with the Senators — he might be similarly reluctant with a new team. Maybe the fact that the Avalanche are a better team will be enough to seduce him into a long-term contract. But maybe not. It could be a gamble that costs the Avalanche O’Reilly’s services for a year.

So, what do you think, Avs Nation? Should the Colorado Avalanche trade Ryans?