TSN and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun believes the Vancouver Canucks “covet” Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O’Reilly.
The Avalanche matched a two-year, $10 million offer sheet from the Calgary Flames last February. Teams cannot trade players on matched offer sheets until a year later.
With the trade restriction due to be lifted on February 28, there is speculation that the Avalanche might be interested in trading O’Reilly. He is eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer and O’Reilly’s $6.5 million qualifying offer might be too pricey for the team.
LeBrun thinks the Canucks will be interested and an ideal trade partner for the Avalanche citing their desire to acquire a defenceman and the Canucks abundance of them. He writes:
So many teams are keeping an eye on what the Avs are going to do with O’Reilly. If he’s made available, to me he’s a number one player on the trade market. So many teams could use him and one of those teams that covet him – I believe – are the Vancouver Canucks. I would put him at the top of their list, he fits all their needs in terms of finding another centre and they have an abundance of defencemen, which is something Colorado would want to have back in a trade, if they were to put O’Reilly on the market.
The most obvious candidate to move in an O’Reilly trade might be Alexander Edler, but when was the last time a major trade happened mid-season?
Well, in 2012 when the Los Angeles Kings dealt Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick in either 2012 or 2013 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jeff Carter. It was the trade that many look back as the one that really put the Kings over the top that year en route to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
That year the Kings were a great defensive team, but had a scoring problem. They had a first line anchored by Anze Kopitar, but not much of a second line. The acquisition of Carter gave Mike Richards support on the second line and alleviated their scoring problem.
It would be desired a Edler-O’Reilly swap would have a similar effect on the Canucks. He would give the second line a much needed boost and allow Ryan Kesler to move to right wing where head coach John Tortorella feels he would be best utilized.
O’Reilly wouldn’t be a rental player either—something general manager Mike Gillis has said he wants to stay away from.
Edler has a no-trade clause.