Shortly after the Calgary Flames signed restricted free agent Ryan O’Reilly two-year offer sheet, reports started to surface the Vancouver Canucks issued O’Reilly an offer sheet as well.
The point may be moot now since the Colorado Avalanche have matched the offer sheet, but that is what Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Andrew Walker reported on Twitter.
— Andrew Walker (@fan960walker) February 28, 2013
Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman was asked about the report by the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap and he responded by saying it was a “bad scoop.”
The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis reports that while the Canucks are denying they made O’Reilly an offer, he says the Canucks did speak to O’Reilly’s agent however.
The offer sheet O’Reilly signed was a two-year deal with a cap hit of $5 million. The first year (this year) calls for a salary of $1 million (prorated) and a 2.5 million signing bonus. In the second year, he will make $6.5 million before becoming a restricted free agent.
In order to retain his rights, O’Reilly will need to qualified at $6.5 million in the summer of 2014. A $6.5 million qualifying offer for a player that had one breakout season is a pricey commitment. Had the Avalanche not matched the offer, they would have been entitled to compensation in the form of Calgary’s 2013 first and third round picks.
With Kesler out long-term with a broken foot and some questions as to whether Jordan Schroeder is ideal for the third line centre position, it is not much of a surprise the Canucks at least kicked the tires on O’Reilly. The Canucks probably passed when O’Reilly asked for a contract with an average annual value of over $3,364,391.
(Anything up to $3,364,391 is only a second round pick compensation.)