The decision came just hours prior to the Flames game against the Avalanche in Denver last night. Then during the first period, just moments after the Flames jumped to a quick 2-0 lead on the Avalanche, it was announced that Colorado was going to match the Flames generous contract offer to O’Reilly.
Is O’Reilly an up and coming centerman? Possibly. But at the end of the day Flames General Manager Jay Feaster could be relieved most of his roster is status quo since yesterday. If the Flames did acquire the rights to O’Reilly, they would have had to give the Avalanche their first and third round picks, something that might have been very steep if the Flames don’t make a strong push toward the playoffs soon.
Also in what was reported Friday by TSN, if the Avalanche had not matched the Flames' contract offer for O'Reilly, he would have been put on waivers first. That is because O'Reilly played in the KHL after the start of the NHL season. It is interesting if Feaster was aware of the KHL waiver rule as well. If he was, he has significant explaining to do. If he wasn't, it reduces the Flames' management credibility a little for not knowing the rules before offering O'Reilly a major contract.