FanPost

A Message to the Avalanche Management: It's Not Too Late to do the Right Thing

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Allow me to beat the dead horse just one more time.

I'm sure we're all kind of sick of the Ryan O'Reilly situation. There's enough blame to go around for the failure to get this kid on the ice. In a game that puts results ahead of everything else though, I'm forced to ask - are the Avalanche really in a position of strength here?

O'Reilly is asking for a lot, yes. Yes, the offers that were made by the team were more than reasonable. Yes, he's being stubborn. Yes, his dad meddling in this whole thing is a little weird and questionable, and it makes any English teacher cringe. I read his email today and was saddened that it's come to this. But I was also saddened because Brian O'Reilly is right. He just is. I know it, and I'm sure you do too.

O'Reilly is just a pure winner. That purity is a hard asset to find in this league, and even harder to develop. Usually you have to just come with it, sometimes it develops out of discipline. Rarely. Only this year, with astronomical changes to his training regimen and athletic routine, are we beginning to see this valuable attribute come consistently with Matt Duchene. Landeskog went 2nd in the draft, and became the youngest captain in team history, because of his work ethic and attitude.

The Flyers have massive amounts of skill - why aren't they first in the East? Brian O'Reilly said it, and you can bitch as much as you want about it. He's right. It's character that wins in the long run in this league, and O'Reilly has it. And you can bet that letting him go will bite us in the ass, hard, because it's just gonna be another serving on his massive plate of drive and motivation. I would never wanna play against him in a playoff series

I had really been on the Avs' side for a while now. O'Reilly scoffing at the same money Duchene got? If you ask me, they're equal in terms of value to the team. Look at Duchene right now! 6 pts in two games, 17 in 14 games! A monster, night in and night out. Yeah, he took one for the team this year with his contract, and it's more than respectable that he did so. When I heard that O'Reilly was offered the same thing and declined it, I was shocked.

The thing is, you have to look at the big picture with this. O'Reilly is only 22, and you'd better bet he's getting BETTER, not plateauing. His work ethic will only get better. Isn't that just a bit scary to you? The Avalanche are 6-7-1. In a league of results, they can't say much for theirs. O'Reilly would be a huge boost to this team's leadership, offense, penalty kill, and CHARACTER. Ryan O'Reilly gives a boost to team identity.

So listen, Avalanche front office, Greg Sherman, Pierre Lacroix. If there's something I know about character guys (and yes, Ryan O'Reilly is still a character guy who simply knows the value of that character) it's that they can start fresh and be mature. If you just give the Radar camp a call and request just one more negotiating session, clear the air, and start fresh with a nice deal, I'm sure we can put this all behind us. We're all adults here. I would offer Ryan O'Reilly a 2 year, $9M deal. Pricey? Yeah. But we'll be way worse off without him, believe me. That's the premium I'm willing to place on keeping Radar out of other teams' hands.

Does that sort of deal create some air of tension with Matt Duchene? After all, he has 167 points in 233 GP. Radar has 107 points in 236 GP. If I were Matt Duchene, I'd be lying if I didn't have a little bit of a beef with that. But then again, David Jones has 122 points in 255 GP, and he's making $4M a season. Yeah he was a UFA, but I'm not sure we care too much about that now (1G in 12 GP lawl). I'm not sure the guys compare salaries in the locker room too much, and I'm sure Duchene knows he's in for a massive payday in about a year and a half. Either way, there's certainly a bit of a question mark here.

Maybe I'm just naive.

But I know this: If you think that you can watch Tomas Fleischmann go to the Panthers and light it up and feel remorse, just wait until O'Reilly is gone.

It will be gut-wrenching. I'm not sure there's a situation where we don't regret this.

It's not too late, Avs. There's something to be said for putting things aside and renewing a relationship. This can still work out, and flourish. It would show a tremendous amount of responsibility, and...

Well, character.

MileHighHockey.com is a fan community, allowing members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Colorado Avalanche and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editors of MileHighHockey.com.

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