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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Avalanche match Flames’ offer sheet; O’Reilly prepares for awkward return to Colorado

Posted on by Harrison Mooney in Featured, News | Leave a comment

Huh. That was fast.

Less than four hours after it was announced that the Calgary Flames had signed prodigal two-way centre Ryan O’Reilly to an offer sheet, the Colorado Avalanche have matched the offer.

Here’s their entire statement on the matter, which is delightfully terse:

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced tonight that the team has matched the Calgary Flames’ offer sheet for forward Ryan O’Reilly.

Uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable, I’m sure O’Reilly’s return to the Avalanche dressing room isn’t going to be weird at all.

“This was a goal of ours from the outset to get Ryan signed, and that goal was completed today,” said a triumphant Greg Sherman on a conference call.

The move came not long after the Flames scored two goals on the Avalanche in under a minute to go up 2-0 in their Thursday night affair. Think the quick offensive outburst underscored just how in need of O’Reilly’s gifts the Avalanche are these days? If so, way to blow it, Calgary.

A lot of people are going to ask how the Avalanche could match so quickly when they were so reluctant to make this same deal earlier, but it seems pretty clear that the Flames forced the issue.

Really, the swiftness with which Colorado went ahead here might be one of the few aspects of the whole debacle for which you can give them credit. O’Reilly has been noticeably absent from the Avalanche lineup. The moment they decided to match, why maintain that absence any longer than necessary? Colorado has needed O’Reilly for two months. They’re in the basement of the worst division in hockey. If they had waited the full week and then matched, wasting valuable time in a shortened season that they don’t have to waste, they would have looked like ever bigger fools.

So good on you, Sherman, for wasting no time in cutting O’Reilly his $2.5 million cheque and bringing this ridiculous situation to an quick conclusion.

But this may not be the end of Avalanche/O’Reilly saga. What happens now?

That’s one option. The other is that they keep him, at which point he becomes yet another Avalanche star that will need a new deal in 2014. Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, and Paul Stastny are all due for extensions then as well. I would suggest Calgary’s decision to make this a two-year deal had something to do with this. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough to scare Colorado away.

At least for now.

Jordan Staal vs. Penguins; Flames, Avs clash amidst offer sheet drama (Puck Previews)

Posted on by Harrison Mooney in Featured, News | Leave a comment

Back by popular demand, here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET

It’s not the huge deal that Jordan Staal‘s first game back in Pittsburgh is, but this affair still marks his first game against his old club. Now, as he goes head-to-head with Sidney Crosby, we can finally answer the question of which one of them is better. It’s been tough to say up until now.

Preview: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m. ET

The Blackhawks’ run of regulation loss-free hockey has reached an absurd 19 games. Can they make it an even twenty? Only the Blues stand in the way. I’m not holding my breath on St. Louis ending the streak for two reasons: first, the Blues have lost three straight versus Chicago, and second, it’s the Blues. This one’s not ending in regulation.

Preview: Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m. ET

At noon, this game didn’t look all that interesting. Two Northwest division teams, neither of whom are the good Northwest division team. What’s the story here? And then the Flames offer-sheeted Ryan O’Reilly. There’s your story. Granted, the General Managers won’t see the ice to fight it out, but it will still be worth watching to really get a handle on how desperately both of these teams could use a Ryan O’Reilly type right about now.

Check out previews and updated scores for all of today’s games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight’s starting goalies, check out Goalie Post.

Evening Reading

Don Cherry has an issue with basketball fights. [Don Cherry]

• I imagine Jay Feaster read this article, and immediately slammed his laptop closed and offer-sheeted O’Reilly. [SI]

• Ilya Kovlachuk’s not so into realignment. “For us I don’t think it makes any sense to change it,” Kovalchuk said. “We have a great division with good travel for all the teams in our division. A lot of rivalry games.” [Star-Ledger]

• This appears to be the play that ended Manny Malhotra’s season. [Pass it to Bulis]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Anhyzer on the NHL’s playoff plans.

No,no play in games. There are already 82 of those.

Agree.

Bold prediction: Lots of goals in Carolina. I’ll say nine.

Ryan O’Reilly signs offer sheet with Flames, mercifully ending standoff with Avalanche

Posted on by Harrison Mooney in Featured, News | Leave a comment

It’s been a big day for Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster. First, he acquired Brian McGrattan in a trade from the Nashville Predators. It was a head-scratcher of a move, since McGrattan was on waivers just yesterday. Why trade a player for him?
As it tur…

Hockey Hugs: No to fist bumps; Corey Perry seems excited

Posted on by Harrison Mooney in Featured, News | Leave a comment

Welcome once again to Hockey Hugs, the feature that gets in close on the moments when your favourite NHLers do the same.
We’ll get to the best bro-cuddles of the past two weeks in just a moment, but first, a little housekeeping. I have a bone to pick…

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