Western conference team may steal Ryan O'Reilly this summer

S. Harper
May 28, 2023  (8:17 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs' prospects of winning a Stanley Cup this season have been shattered, due to their defeat at the hands of the Florida Panthers.

This disappointing outcome is likely to lead to significant changes within the team, including the search for a new General Manager.
Additionally, speculation surrounds the future of head coach Sheldon Keefe, the core players, and several unrestricted free agents (UFAs) and restricted free agents (RFAs) who require new contracts.

Ryan O'Reilly's Uncertain Future

Among the players whose future is under scrutiny, Ryan O'Reilly stands out. O'Reilly quickly became a favorite among Maple Leafs fans after being acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Blues before the deadline.
His determined and tenacious style of play won over the fanbase, and his contribution was instrumental in helping his former team secure a Stanley Cup in 2019, earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy.
During the Leafs' season-ending press conference, O'Reilly remained noncommittal about his future with the team, likely avoiding revealing his intentions before contract negotiations.
As a pending UFA with a previous contract averaging $7.5 million per year, O'Reilly has yet to confirm whether he would be willing to accept a pay cut to stay with the Leafs.
Consequently, his name is likely to continue circulating in the rumor mill until he decides to sign a contract before free agency opens on July 1st.

Ryan O'Reilly Avalanche Return?

Possible Reunion with the Colorado Avalanche:
According to Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
"The Colorado Avalanche, O'Reilly's former club, may be interested in reacquiring him. The Avalanche's uncertainties surrounding Valeri Nichushkin and the injured Gabriel Landeskog could potentially lead them to recruit a familiar player. With available funds for spending and a need for a veteran centerman, the Avalanche could benefit from O'Reilly's size, skill, grit, and experience.

Proteau suggests that O'Reilly's return to the Avalanche could provide the team with the necessary elements to make a deep playoff run. While he may not command an exorbitant salary, a new contract in the range of $4 to $5 million per year seems plausible."

O'Reilly will definitely get plenty of attention this summer but will most likely love to head back to Colorado as he was disappointed when he left.
Credit Maple Leafs Daily
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Western conference team may steal Ryan O'Reilly this summer

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