Today before the match up between the Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche, General Manager Jay Feaster had decided to sign restricted free agent Ryan O’Rielly to an offer sheet. The deal is is worth 10 million over a two year span. If this works out, the Flames would be obligated to give up their first and third round draft picks for this years NHL draft.
After 3 seasons in the NHL, Colorado’s centerman has been improving each year. Currently, only missing 10 games, scoring 39 goals, and 68 assists, the 22 year old from Ontario, Canada is looking pretty good. O’Rielly would fit well with the Flames because they do not have a true number one center on the team. Giving him a chance to play on the first or second line would help him and the team improve. Having already played on a line with current Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, guidance from Jarome Iginla should just make the switch even easier. His scoring has increased each season and should for many years.
There is both positives and negatives to this deal. It gives them a younger forward but why not wait it out and get other hockey players through the draft. Plus, Calgary already owes lots of money to their current players so they really do not need to add more. Having one younger hockey player will not help the team too much and loosing a chance at possibly get a top 5 pick this year isn’t smart either.
It is also dumb to help out a rival in the same division as you. Calgary does not need to give their opponent an upper advantage as they and Colorado compete against each other each season. If the team continues to lose games and they give away their first round draft pick then the whole season went to waste. This year has a great draft class and Calgary should not miss out. With names like Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones, and Jonathan Drouin there is so much potential.
The Flames are trying to make the playoffs each and every year but, its not working. Players like Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff are getting older and time is running out. As a Flames fan, expectations are always high each year. Lately, things are not turning out the way they should be. It should be time for a rebuild sooner rather then later, signing younger talents is just a start. With them sitting 12th in the Western Conference, the playoffs should not be out of the question just yet.
The deal looked to be all said and done but, guess what? Colorado decided to step in and match the offer. It was just one of those deals that could not follow through. There is some sigh of relief for both squads now. As of now the spotlight is once again on Jay Feaster and his time in Calgary should be over soon enough. What can I say? Out with the old and in with the new! Sounds pretty good to me.