With the NHL lockout still going as strong as ever, center Ryan O'Reilly has remained the only Colorado Avalanche restricted free agent not signed to a new contract. On Thursday, it was announced that he signed a contract, but not of the type that Avalanche fans were probably hoping for. The contract for O'Reilly was announced as a two-year permanent contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian KHL.
The contract makes O'Reilly the first NHL star to sign a permanent deal in Russia since the start of the lockout. It was agreed by mutual consent that if an NHL team were to offer him a more lucrative contract, he can move back to the United States. The Avalanche have not made much, if any, noise regarding O'Reilly during the off-season.
Other NHL players on Metallurg include Ryan's brother Cal O'Reilly and Penguins star Evgeni Malkin. The team is currently fourth in the KHL's Eastern Conference.