The Colorado Avalanche and restricted free agent forward Ryan O'Reilly remain separated by a considerable margin in negotiations on a new contract, according to a report by Adrian Dater of the Denver Post on Tuesday.
Citing two NHL sources, Dater reports that the Avalanche are interested in signing O'Reilly to a contract comparable to the one teammate Matt Duchene agreed to last summer (two-years, $7 million in total). O'Reilly is reportedly requesting a salary in the range of $5 million per season and turned down a five-year, $17 million offer last summer.
Both sides declined to provide Dater comment, but O'Reilly's agent was willing to confirm that the two sides are still engaging in discussion.
It is believed that despite the gap, the Avalanche are not willing to trade the 21-year-old forward.
Due to a change in the rules pertaining to restricted free agents signing by a deadline or being ineligible for the year, O'Reilly can hold out for as long as he wants and still join the team this season (the rule change was due to the condensed schedule).
However, he is currently playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League with Metallurg Magnitogorsk and is reportedly receiving a pro-rated salary of $4 million (U.S. currency) this season. If Colorado fails to provide him with a contract of his liking, he can continue playing in the KHL until they do.