This thing between Ryan O`Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche has been debated to the point of exhaustion.
The horse is beyond dead; it's a mess of bloody road kill. But until there is a resolution, we will continue to talk about it. How can we not, especially when every game seems to bring a new injury to the Avs?
The longer it goes on, however, the angrier I get. Maybe it's a hockey version of the five stages of grief. I don't know, but this is how I've progressed through the "O`Reilly Situation":
Anger Really fucking pissed off
I really hope there's something beyond #5 because this is a self-destructive place to be, not to mention a ridiculous one. It's a game. Nothing more. At least on paper. Unfortunately, for so many of us, it's so very much more. Personally, it's always been that thing that pulled me out of my stress. Even when the team lost, it still helped make my life move livable. It's not even close to doing that now. This crap has just added to the pile.
Given that, I'm into rant mode. I don't go here very often. It's not really my thing. Nonetheless, here I am, and maybe a rant will be cathartic. Or not. We'll just have to see.
Rant 1: The Avalanche
What the hell is wrong with this organization? It's like these grown men—Stan, Pierre, Greg—are all a bunch of middle school brats on a playground. They get all fucking pissy when someone talks back to them or stands up for himself. They kick him out of the club and stop talking to him. The list of players they've treated this way is long and getting longer. These are good, valuable players. Sometimes they offer reasonable contracts; sometimes they totally low-ball someone. Always, it's "take it or leave it." Those who hold out are, either through trade or not signing, cut off completely, so much so that they often never hear from the team again. What kind of way is that to run a business? It's not like this shit isn't secret. Yo, Avs, at some point (and it could already be at that point) some free agent you really covet might look at this pattern and say, "Fuck them. No way am I walking into that mess." And then where are you? Oh, that's right, you're busy offering $16 million to David Jones and three-year deals to Shane "Clown Shoes" O'Brien. Pull your heads out of your asses and start giving a shit about this team.
Rant 2: Ryan O`Reilly
Get over yourself, already. I don't give a shit what kind of year you had last year. You're a second round pick who has three years in the league. Yes, you have amazing potential to be really good in this league. But you're never going to be a Hall of Famer. You're not going to be elite. From what we have seen, you could be a great two-way, second-line center who has a good offensive upside and incredible defensive acumen. Could is the operative word here, Ryan. You still need to prove that your leading scorer crap last season wasn't all due to a disgustingly talented Swede. You have absolutely proven that you're amazing defensively. Not going to argue that. But a defensive forward is not worth top-tier money. You HAVE to have the offense to make that happen. One year of good numbers just isn't going to cut it. Sign one of those god damn bridge deals, rip it up on the score sheet, and THEN demand the money. STFU with your Cuba Gooding Jr "Show me the money" impression. We're over it.
Rant 3: The Situation
We just went through hell with a fucking lock out that was primarily about money. That shit tore out our hearts as fans. But it wasn't entirely about money, which made it a tiny bit easier to handle. This situation, however, is only about money. As if that's not bad enough, the Avs and O'Reilly have turned it into a fucking game of chicken, and both parties are too stubborn and too ridiculously stupid to move first. It has made both camps a joke to the hockey world. It's tarnished even further a name that, at one time, had players clamoring to represent. Get a god damn deal done, already. End this bullshit so that we can all stop thinking and worrying about this and go back to thinking and worrying about bottom-feeding and injuries.
/rant over. And no, it wasn't cathartic.