Colorado Avalanche 30 Under 30: Gone Players

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Apr 7, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) and center Ryan O’Reilly (90) celebrate the win over the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche defeated the Predators 3-2.Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Ryan O’Reilly

Position: Center

Age: 25 (age 18-24 with Colorado)

Avalanche Acquisition: Draft, second round, #33 in 2009

Left Avalanche: Trade, 2015

Years as an Avalanche: 6

Under-30 Colorado Stats: 427 games played, 90 goals, 156 assists

Former Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly was involved in the most protracted contractual disputes in Avs history. This included his sitting out part of the already lockout-shortened season, alienating some of his teammates (notably Matt Duchene), and filing for salary arbitration. Therefore, the trade that sent him and Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres for Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, JT Compher and a draft pick was a relief for many Avs fans.

That said, O’Reilly was popular in his time with the Colorado Avalanche. He did a lot for the team. He was drafted the same year as Duchene, and they made the team together as 18-year-olds. The two seemed to be growing up together into the center of the Avalanche core — which made his contractual disputes all the more painful for most fans.

O’Reilly was our second center, but he seemed to see that changing with the drafting of Nathan MacKinnon in 2013. What’s more, he wanted a leadership role, and that seemed far-fetched in the current Avalanche structure.

However, Ryan O’Reilly will always be a part of Colorado Avalanche history. Indeed, during the exalted Why Not Us season he earned the Lady Byng Trophy for being a gentlemanly sort of hockey player.

Let’s look at another player who broke a lot of hearts when he left the team.

Next: Stastny