NHL trade rumors: Avs want top player for Ryan O'Reilly

Doug Pensinger

The Colorado Avalanche appear ready to move center Ryan O'Reilly as contract negotiations with the talented forward remain stalled.

The contract situation between the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O'Reilly continues to sit at a stand-still, with it appearing more and more with each passing day that the talented center has likely played his last game with the Avs. As reality sets in for Colorado, the Avalanche are now prepared to move the center to interested teams as the threat of an offer sheet looms as the season wears on.

TSN's Darren Dreger reports that the Avalanche are seeking a roster player and top prospect in return for a trade for the rights to O'Reilly, with any team making a trade still needing to negotiate a contract with the center. Bob McKenzie indicates that O'Reilly is the one seeking the trade as negotiations continue to go nowhere.

The Avalanche have notoriously been tough negotiators in these sorts of instances and it is now coming back to haunt them, as the team stands to lose one of the top young centers in the NHL for what could very likely be an underwhelming return. Twitter was alive on Tuesday night with rumors that the Montreal Canadiens could be in play for O'Reilly, with Lars Eller the rumored roster player in return, although it seems to be nothing but mere speculation given the fleecing such a trade would be for the Habs.

O'Reilly remains the last of the "big" restricted free agents still unsigned, with Dallas Stars center Jamie Benn having signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract a few weeks back and Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban finally signing a two-year contract not long after.

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