2012 NHL Free Agency: Ryan O'Reilly Still Unsigned, Matt Duchene Contract Possibly To Blame

Ryan O'Reilly remains the only restricted free agent on the Colorado Avalanche that has not yet been signed to a new contract. He became the last man standing when Jamie McGinn got a two year, $3.5 million contract.

A deal for O'Reilly was expected to be made after Matt Duchene got re-signed, with the terms of that contract being a start point for the slightly less talented but similarly productive O'Reilly. Duchene ended up signing for two years and $7 million, which at the time was perceived to be a hometown discount sort of price for a guy with Duchene's high potential.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post thinks that Duchene's contract might be holding up an O'Reilly deal because he signed for so much less than expected:

Here’s a question: Did Matt Duchene’s two-year, $7 million contract hurt O’Reilly’s leverage at all? After all, he and Duchene came into the league the same year, and Duchene put up a lot more points in those first two years than O’Reilly. O’Reilly had the better third year, for sure, but now that a marketplace has been set on the Avs for a player of O’Reilly’s "comparables", has it made things tougher for what he and his agent might have desired on a new deal?

It won't be a problem unless the re-signing saga continues to go until September or so, the two sides still have two months to work out a deal and there's very little chance that the Avalanche don't keep their talented young center. Right now, the news on a possible deal is slow but there's not much else for them to take care of this off season.

For more on the Colorado Avalanche, head over to Mile High Hockey. More on NHL free agency and the rest of the hockey world can be found at SB Nation's NHL hub.

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