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
Wild sign goalie Darcy Kuemper
Avs look to build off momentum in Roy's 2nd year
Blackhawks open training camp at Notre Dame
Selanne rips Boudreau, but Ducks coach understands
Selanne biography sheds light on poor relationship with Ducks coach
New coach, 4 teammates as Predators report to camp
Galchenyuk ready to try move to centre
Young players in the mix for Arizona
Crosby, Malkin to miss practice as a precaution
Bruins have some lineup questions
Ryan Kesler begins Cup chase with Anaheim Ducks
Devils open camp without veteran goalie Brodeur
Goals, goaltending talk of Flames camp
Panthers eager to turn page after last season
Spott brushes off disagreement with Kessel
Leafs camp expected to be competitive
New Capitals coach Trotz has plans for Ovechkin
Sabres rebuild after franchise record for losses
New TV series to feature wives of NHL stars
Wild goalie Harding has broken foot
Jackets ready to move on if Johansen doesn't sign
Oilers hire Pelletier as skating coach
Sharks sign D Braun to 5-year, $19 M extension
Plenty of questions as NHL camps open
Ducks sign Smith-Pelly to two-year extension
Red Wings agree to 2-year deal with DeKeyser
Ducks re-sign Devante Smith-Pelly to 2-year deal
'Johnny Hockey' already turning heads
Habs to go with four alternate captains
Canucks prospects hoping to impress new GM, coach
Bozon glad to be alive and at Habs camp
Leiweke: terrible character line not specific
Lapointe to have jersey retired Nov. 8