Saturday, March 2, 2013
Avs blow golden opportunity?
By Victoria Matiash
Clearly, the Calgary Flames weren't the only ones in the dark. There's plenty of evidence that other NHL clubs (never mind the player's own agent) weren't fully aware of how tendering an offer sheet to Ryan O'Reilly carried massive risk.
For the record, the Flames' general manager is defending his organization's presentation of an offer sheet to the then-restricted free agent. Via statement, Jay Feaster claims the club researched the matter ahead of making the move, and its interpretation of the rule allegedly requiring O'Reilly pass through waivers first -- Article 13.23 -- "was, and continues to be, different than the NHL's current interpretation."
"Prior to tendering the offer sheet for Ryan O'Reilly we, as a hockey operations department, examined whether there were any impediments to our successfully securing the services of the player including, but not limited to, his having played in the KHL after the start of the current NHL season," Feaster said in a statement.
Apparently uninterested in stirring the pot further, the NHL called the issue an "academic point" -- one that doesn't merit additional attention since O'Reilly re-signed with the Colorado Avalanche. However, it's still interesting to examine the "what ifs?" of the case. For instance, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside suggests the Avs were also unaware of how Article 13.23 played into the matter. Otherwise, Avs GM Greg Sherman may have tried to take advantage of the Flames' alleged ignorance.
Scott BurnsideAvs could have capitalized
"... There’s also the issue of whether the Avalanche knew this was the case either. It’s possible that Sherman could have declined to match the offer sheet, taken the Flames’ first- and third-round draft picks and then tried to claim O’Reilly off waivers. Or they could have arranged a side deal with a team like Columbus, which would have had first crack at O’Reilly given its place in the standings, not to claim the player and thus pave the way to obtaining him ...TE"