I know the current Kool-ade flavor is very anti-O’Reilly after the captaincy issue came out, but I see it differently and thus, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful of the very worthy gentle(folk) who have just addressed this (blog) if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without resolve.
I recognize that we may be coping with our O’Reilly grief by souring those potentially unreachable grapes, but I’d like to be careful not to do that.
Reasons we loved O’Reilly not too long ago.
- Does the job he’s asked to do. Two years on a shut-down line, not earning stats that might have meant more money. Now those “unproductive” years are counted against him.
- Does the little things that don’t leap off the stat sheet: face-offs, PK, forecheck, steals. . .
- Rink rat/hard worker: First guy to practice, last one to leave, running steps in the Pepsi center.
- Team guy: O’Reilly made no secret of his desire to be a 1st line center and yet never disturbed the locker room waters as he received 2nd or 3rd line duty.
All of these reasons would have made him a great Captain had Landy not shown up bearing the “future captain” stamp, we would like have been applauding the choice of O’Reilly.
Wanting the captaincy badly is NOT a mark of selfishness or pettiness in O’Reilly’s case, but the extension of his ambition and team focus.
The Timing of naming Landeskog captain bothered me then in light of O’Reilly’s contract being outstanding. It could have easily been delayed until the season loomed or his contract was signed, making it a non-issue.
2nd banana for a 2nd time might well have bothered O’Reilly. Is that forgivable.
Petulance on the part of a player is bothersome to me over the captaincy, but isn’t it equally possible to see this as a petulant move on the part of the organization, a non-monetary beat down of O’Reilly for disrespecting their offer? I, for one, am far more bothered by this possibility on the Avs part than I am the fact that O’Reilly was upset by the move. His disappointment is consistent wit his character.
Weilding the captaincy as a weapon in the negotiations would sure not sit well with the masses. While we don’t know the Avs did this, it seems more logical to suspect the organization that has a history of heavy-handed negotiations than the player who doesn’t.
Perhaps, this is a moot point as this bridge looks increasingly burnt, but I think it is a little unfair to paint O’Reilly as the first one wielding a torch.