Ryan O’Reilly has inked a seven-year, $52.5 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
O’Reilly will get the vast majority of his money in the form of signing bonuses. He is a better player than he is fantasy contributor in standard leagues as a lot of his value comes from the fact that he plays a two-way game. If we were to just focus on his offense, then O’Reilly is unlikely to ever significantly surpass his current career-highs of 28 goals and 64 points, which he set in 2013-14. Even factoring in what he brings to the table defensively though, his cap hit is excessive. The Avalanche were justified in trading him rather than concede to his demands.
The HockeyfanLand Insight:
I completely agree with the folks at Rotoworld. The Colorado Avalanche did a fantastic job of not giving to O’Reilly’s demands. Listen, O’Reilly Is developing into one of the best two-way hockey players in the NHL. However, making him the most expensive player on their roster, I believe the Buffalo Sabres will regret contract. With so many good young players coming down the pipe these numbers set the dangerous precedent for what those players believe they will deserve. I could stomach Brandon Saad at $6 million x six years in Columbus, because there is room for him to grow. In terms of O’Reilly this is severe overpayment.