Ryan O'Reilly had a great year for the Colorado Avalanche last season, leading the team with 55 points. The 22-year-old center has been unable to come to terms on a new deal, however.
Pat Leonard of the Daily News confirmed that the Rangers have interest in the forward, but we suspect nothing will come of it.
Aside from O'Reilly's extremely high contract demands, what would the Rangers have to send to Colorado for his rights? It's probably much more than the Rangers are willing to give up, as the Avs have said they want an NHL-ready player, as well as a prospect or two for O'Reilly.
Even if they do acquire him, coming to terms on a contract will be interesting.
O'Reilly rejected a two-year $3.5 million per from the Avalanche, an offer the Rangers likely wouldn't better (or match), especially with the looming cap crunch thanks to the new CBA ($70.2 million this year to $64.3 million next season).
O'Reilly has also rejected deals of up to five years, a number the Rangers are known not to approach.
The Rangers made it a policy, beginning in 2008-09 with Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky and continuing this year with Michael Del Zotto, to sign restricted free agents lacking salary arbitration rights to two-year “bridge” deals.
Pretty much, O'Reilly wouldn't receive anything more than a two-year deal from New York this year, even if he was acquired. Plus, with the rest of New York's looming restricted free agents this summer (Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin) New York must save enough cap money to bring them back.
The move also doesn't make sense as O'Reilly doesn't really have a place on the team. If he comes in, he will expect to be a top-six forward, and center. Brad Richards is the clear No. 1 center on the roster and Stepan has proved he deserves the other spot.
Through his first two seasons with the team he's had 96 points (38 goals, 58 assists) which is 15 more points than O'Reilly in that span.
The Rangers already have their priorities set looking forward, and brining in a headache like O'Reilly will only complicate things for this team.
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