The Colorado Avalanche are like the modern day pre-cap era Boston Bruins. Their penny-pinching ways have already cost them Craig Anderson and it seems like their young and already very effective two-way center is next out the door.
With speculation intensifying and reports indicating that O’Reilly could be dealt to an Eastern Conference team, during the first intermission last night, the TSN Panel weighed in on where O’Reilly could land.
Bob McKenzie’s answer sure made a lot of sense (and not just as naked pandering to an Ottawa audience). The Senators have an abundance of young assets that could be parlayed for something of higher quality. It’s this same enviable amount of depth that allowed the team to acquire Kyle Turris.
Does acquiring another center make sense for this organization?
It did. And it still might...
...with Spezza out indefinitely following back surgery, the team has relied heavily upon Kyle Turris to carry the offensive load down the middle. Zack Smith’s offensive struggles and some undisclosed upper body injury to Peter Regin have led to Mika Zibanejad centering the team’s top line. In the interim, it’s one giant mishmash of uncertainty and moving forward, the center position does not become any less clear. Spezza is a UFA in two more seasons and Regin is one this summer. O’Brien looks to be a staple on the team’s fourth line and Smith/or Zibanejad might wind up as wingers, and while Da Costa's looked promising lately, he's no sure thing long-term.
But approximately 19 minutes and 40 seconds into the second period of last night’s game, none of this mattered.
When Erik Karlsson suffered a laceration to his left Achilles tendon, any hopes or chance for an extended playoff run went out the window and with it, expectations that O’Reilly could be in a Senators uniform soon.
There are 34 games left in the schedule and anything can happen, of course. The organization could continue to augment their core with young players like O’Reilly who are entering their prime, but I wouldn't be holding my breath for a trade to drop. I suspect management is content to sit tight for the time being.
Not to mention, the Denver Post's Adrian Dater isn't exactly sure the Avs are inclined to move ROR imminently:
Wouldn't be at all surprised if ROR isn't traded til summer or beyond. Especially with Avs season practically blown up already— adater (@adater) February 13, 2013
After talking to an Avs fan who was over at S7, I don't think it's a good match. According to this Avs fan, O'Reilly seems to be frustrated that although he had a 55pt season last year, the Avs had no plans on bumping him up to the top 6. Broad statements will be made about whether or not O'Reilly is spoiled because he is pulling this through contract negotiations, the same ones made about Turris, but regardless of the conjecture I don't think it is a good fit for O'Reilly. When Spezza comes back ROR will be bumped back down to the 3rd line and will almost certainly be as unhappy about it here as he was in Colorado. IMHO, if we hadn't traded for Turris last year, we should be picking up O'Reilly now. But we did and I think we need to let somebody else take advantage of this one