Was Ryan O'Reilly Offer Sheet Smart Move by the Calgary Flames?

Jon Reid@@JonReidCSMCorrespondent IIFebruary 28, 2013

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 14: Ryan O'Reilly #37 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on March 14, 2012 in Buffalo, New York. The Avalanche defeated the Sabres 5-4 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Well, for those who were waiting for some news on the Ryan O'Reilly front, you're in for some big news.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Calgary Flames have elected to offer sheet the 22-year-old restricted free agent:


O'Reilly details more clearly:2 yrs ..5M AAV ... 1m salary this year and 2.5 SB ... 6.5M salary next year.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 28, 2013


It looks as though Jay Feaster wasn't kidding about continuing full steam ahead on the "win-now" path.

This offseason, Feaster inked both defenseman Dennis Wideman and winger Jiri Hudler to multi-year contracts, worth a combined $9.25 million per season.

Now Feaster has decided that he's going to mortgage his team's future in order to pursue the 22-year-old, Ryan O'Reilly.

At $5 million per season, Jay Feaster will have to give up multiple picks in the upcoming entry drafts, including a first-round selection, which could prove to be especially costly if the Flames remain in the Western Conference's basement for the remainder of the regular season.

Another tidbit to consider when it comes to the Flames potentially signing O'Reilly is that, according to CapGeek.com, they only have $16.185 million in cap space heading into next season.

Now take off another $5 million from that number and consider that they'd only have 15 players under contract, and you've got to question whether or not the team will be able to bring back their leader and the face of the franchise for the past decade, Jarome Iginla.

Iginla is currently making $7 million and is set to hit free agency after this season.

At 35 years of age, one has to think that Iginla wants to win soon and will be looking to sign with a contender.

Taking a discount to stay in Calgary? That just doesn't look like it's going to happen.

And if Jay Feaster thinks that this signing is what will turn this team from a pretender into a contender, he has another thing coming.

Calgary has been primed for a rebuild for a while now. Adding one inexperienced (albeit talented) young center, an overrated winger (Hudler) and one good defenseman (Wideman) doesn't change any of that.

If Jay Feaster was smart, he'd be praying for the Colorado Avalanche to match this expensive, but short, offer sheet.

The Flames are not winners now and won't be for years.

Inking O'Reilly for the next few seasons and losing both a first- and a third-round pick won't aid in their rebuilding cause.



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