We’ve moved past the quarter-mark of the 2013 season and Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly is still refusing to sign a contract with the Colorado Avalanche. Patience is wearing thin in Denver and the trade rumors have already begun to swirl, with several teams supposedly in the mix including the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Sabres, Senators, and Rangers.
But who really has the leverage in these talks? Is it the Avalanche, who would be dealing a player coming off his best season, or does O’Reilly’s stalemate tactic ultimately pit the Avs against themselves?
O’Reilly continues to wait for a contract in the neighborhood of $5 million per year in Colorado. Is he even worth that kind of money? He’s never broken the 20-goal plateau in a season, he’s topped 50 points only once, and he led the Avs in scoring last season when the team was ranked 23rd in the NHL offensively. Doesn't sound much like a player worth $5 million.
Nobody is saying O’Reilly isn’t a rising talent or t...