Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 03/3/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Ryan O'Reilly is happy to have his contract issue resolved.
O'Reilly practiced with the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday morning, a little more than 36 hours after the team matched the offer sheet he signed with the Calgary Flames.
He passed a physical Friday and joined the team on the ice for the first time this season. He will be in the lineup when the Avalanche play at Columbus today.
"I feel good, I feel healthy and I can't wait to play hockey again," he said after the hour-long practice.
O'Reilly will jump right in after missing the first five weeks of the season. He will centre Colorado's third line and skate with forwards John Mitchell and Milan Hejduk.
He will also play point on one of the power-play units and will eventually play on the penalty kill while getting his conditioning back.
"He looked fine," Hejduk said. "He's the kind of guy who always seems to stay in pretty good shape."
O'Reilly stayed in shape. During the lockout he played for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League. While his agent tried to negotiate a deal with Colorado after the lockout ended in January, he played for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League.
That ended when Calgary stepped up Thursday. The Flames first tried to trade for the fourth-year centre but after a deal couldn't be reached, they signed the restricted free agent to a two-year, $10 million offer sheet Thursday.
The Avalanche matched it a few hours later.
"I was sitting at home and got a call from my agent that there was an opportunity available and I wanted to play hockey," he said. "So I signed it. I didn't know what was going to happen but it was over quickly."
He will make $1 million -- prorated -- this season, $6.5 million next year and received a $2.5 million bonus. His salary is second to Paul Stastny's among Avalanche players.
O'Reilly, Colorado's leading scorer last season, said he put his faith in his agent to get a deal done.
"My agent did an excellent job. You can't play hockey forever. You've got to get as much as you can when you can."
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 3, 2013 B6
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Sharks use 5-goal second to beat Ducks 6-3
Shattenkirk lifts Blues past Predators in shootout
Soft goals by Bernier cost Maple Leafs
Bergenheim lifts Panthers to 3-2 win over Blue Jackets
Paquette has 3 goals, Lightning beat Wings 5-1
Miller's scores late in 2nd as Bruins beat Islanders
Price, Pacioretty lift Canadiens to 1-0 win over Rangers
Philadelphia tops Winnipeg 5-2 for 3rd straight victory
Oilers, Flames benefit from AHL relocation
Ovi as Abe: Ovechkin's goals bring Lincoln back for Capitals
'Red Army' doc is history told through hockey
Martin Brodeur joins Blues as adviser
Toffoli, Muzzin score late, LA Kings rally past Chicago 4-3
Ovi gets 2; Crosby struggles as Capitals blank Penguins 4-0
Josefson and Elias score in SO, Devils top Maple Leafs 2-1
NHL fines Islanders' Clutterbuck for penalty embellishment
Canucks discuss identity after loss
Blue Jackets put left wing Jeremy Morin on injured list
Predators rookie Forsberg shows little sign of slowing down
Longtime Senator Spezza returns to Ottawa
AP Source: Boston Bruins place Simon Gagne on waivers
Ducks shut out Canucks 4-0
Gaudreau scores 2 as Flames top Sabres 4-1
Smith scores in OT, Predators beat Avalanche 4-3
Canadiens recall Dumont from Bulldogs
Red Wings beat Panthers 5-4 for 6th straight victory
Halak, Islanders beat rival Rangers again, 4-1
Simmonds gets winner in SO as Flyers beat Coyotes 4-3
Atkinson, Tyutin lead Blue Jackets past Capitals 4-3
Crosby-less Penguins rally for 5-3 win over Winnipeg
Son: Howe's recovery "unbelievable"
Devils need to climb big hill to avoid another bad year
Former Oilers forward Dvorak retires
LA Kings' Mike Richards clears waivers, assigned to AHL
Sharks in 'dogfight' to secure playoff berth
Goaltender Martin Brodeur to retire
Back to Hiller versus Ramo in Flames net