Center Ryan O’Reilly agrees to two-year pact with Avalanche

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Denver, CO, United States (4E Sports) – Center Ryan O’Reilly has avoided arbitration after agreeing to a two-year deal reportedly worth $12 million with the Colorado Avalanche.

Sources said O’Reilly will be paid $5.8 million in 2014-15 and $6.2 million in 2015-16.

The contract was agreed upon while Avalanche executive vice president Joe Sakic, general manager Greg Sherman, O’Reilly, and the player’s agent, Pat Morris, were waiting outside the hearing chamber.

“We were right outside the door, ready to do this,” said Sakic, who began talking with talking with O’Reilly and Morris upon arrival for the hearing.

“We knew no matter what there would at least be a one-year deal, but then it became, ‘well, how about two?’” Sakic said. “There was never any animosity between us this whole time. Any of the perceived animosity came from the outside.”

The contract will keep O’Reilly with the Avalanche through the 2015-16 season, when he can become an unrestricted free agent.

The 23-year-old O’Reilly had a team-best 28 goals last season and set career-highs in goals and points (64). He also won the Lady Byng Trophy for skillful and gentlemanly play after being assessed two penalty minutes while playing 80 games. He also had two goals and four assists in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Selected by the Avalanche in the second round (No. 33) of the 2009 NHL Draft, O’Reilly has 73 goals and 191 points in 345 NHL games in five seasons.

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