Denver, CO – At long last, a resolution between the Colorado Avalanche and holdout Ryan O'Reilly was reached on Thursday.
A few hours after the restricted free agent center signed a two-year offer sheet with the Calgary Flames, the Colorado Avalanche announced that they had matched it.
"This was a goal from the onset to get Ryan signed," Avalanche GM Greg Sherman said in a press conference held during the first intermission of Thursday's matchup against the Flames. "We are in the process of getting him to Denver and getting his physical, with the hope of him going on the road trip. We looked at the people we wanted to sign in the offseason, free agents or not, and Ryan was of them. We have identified the core of the team. Ryan was one of those players."
According to TSN of Canada, the deal O'Reilly signed with the Flames has an average annual value of $5 million. The news service reported O'Reilly will earn $1 million in base salary for the rest of this season with a $2.5 million signing bonus. His 2013-14 salary will be $6.5 million.
Colorado had seven days to match the offer or receive draft picks as compensation.
The 22-year-old O'Reilly was the third player taken in the second round of the 2009 draft. He made the team that fall and after back-to-back 26-point campaigns, emerged last season as one of the better two-way players in the league, leading the Avs with 37 assists and 55 points.
In 236 career games with the Avalanche, O'Reilly has totaled 39 goals and 107 points.