While the lockout might be coming to an end, Colorado Avalanche restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly hasn't made any plans to return to North America.
Currently playing with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, O'Reilly will not be returning to Colorado until the team presents him with a new contract offer. As they failed to sign the 21-year-old prior to the lockout beginning on Sept. 15, Colorado will need to meet O'Reilly's contract demands if the club wishes to have him play in an Avalanche sweater this season.
That is because O'Reilly signed a two-year contract to play with Metallurg on Dec. 7. Playing alongside his older brother Cal, the younger O'Reilly will have a place to play if he doesn't like what the Avalanche have to offer.
If O'Reilly is satisfied with what the team brings to the negotiating table, his contract with Metallurg has an out-clause that dissolves the deal if he is presented with a more lucrative offer from an NHL team. The Avalanche will not be able to extend an offer until the lockout is officially lifted following the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.
O'Reilly was originally chosen with the No. 33 overall selection in the 2009 NHL draft by Colorado. In 236 regular season games in the NHL, he has registered 39 goals and 68 assists for 107 points.