Just as I was finishing up a massive post breaking down the Flames' offer sheet (and, I might add, concluding that the Avalanche wouldn't match), the Avalanche have announced that they have matched. Ryan O'Reilly stays an Avalanche - and a well-paid Avalanche at that. With his $2.5 million signing bonus and $1 million prorated salary, he will be the 2nd-highest paid player on the Avs this year. He'll bring home about $2.8 million, about $500,000 more than David Jones and PA Parenteau (Paul Stastny will make about $3.8).
I originally titled this "fuck you, Calgary", but actually their offer sheet ended up forcing the standoff to end. So, thanks, Calgary!
Some notes - the Avs won't be able to trade O'Reilly for exactly one year from today, which will be really close to next year's deadline. I don't imagine they are in better position to trade him today than they were, say, two weeks ago when he didn't have a $5 million cap hit.
O'Reilly will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2013-2014 season. Barring an extension before that, the Avalanche will need to tender O'Reilly a QO of 100% of 2013-2014 salary, or $6.5 million dollars. The Avs could take O'Reilly to arbitration, but the lowest award for Radar would be 85% of his salary - $5.5 million. Probably not worth it, but who knows. Either way, the big money seriously impact the negotiations of other deals. Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Jamie McGinn, Steve Downie, Semyon Varlamov and Tyson Barrie are all slated to become free agents in the summer of 2014 (Downie and Stastny are UFA, the rest RFA). Duchene and Landeskog in particular should be able to use O'Reilly's contract as a major bargaining chip.