Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly has yet to play a game this season thanks to an ongoing contract dispute with the club, but the restricted free agent could soon have a solution to the problem. He's signed an offer sheet sent to him by the Calgary Flames, as first reported by TSN's Darren Dreger.
The terms of the contract:
I can confirm the #flames have signed Ryan O'Reilly to an offer sheet. $3.5M and $6.5M.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 28, 2013
That's a $5 million per year salary cap hit for the Flames, a team $4.6 million under the cap for the current season and more than $11 million under with 14 players signed for 2013-14. O'Reilly earned $900,000 on his entry level deal with the Avs last season.
The Avalanche have seven days to match the offer sheet. If they do not, they'll receive Calgary's first round pick and their third round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft as compensation.
For more on the Avalanche, check in with Mile High Hockey.
Talks with the Avalanche broke off weeks ago with the two sides incapable of coming to any sort of deal.Offer sheets are not common in the NHL, but we can't assume that this is the first offer sheet O'Reilly's received from an NHL club. It's possible that another club tried to sign him to an offer sheet at some other point since July 1, 2012, but if O'Reilly turned down the offer from another club, it's possible we'd never learn of it.
There is the perception of a gentleman's agreement between NHL clubs, however, when it comes to offer sheets, and that could be interesting considering Flames general manager Jay Feaster and Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman will see each other on Thursday night when the two clubs face off at Denver's Pepsi Center.
The last offer sheet signing of a restricted free agent came back in July of last year when the Philadelphia Flyers attempted to sign Predators defenseman Shea Weber to a massive 14-year, $110 million offer. The Predators matched that contract, though, and Weber will likely be their franchise cornerstone for the next decade-plus as a result.