Colorado Avalanche fans probably, understandably, got excited when they read Thursday morning that Ryan O'Reilly no longer has a contract with his KHL team, Metallurg, and was coming back to North America immediately.

But O'Reilly, according to his agent Mark Guy, is coming back to North America only to seek medical attention for a "minor injury", reportedly as a foot problem.

That injury, plus transfer agreement rules of the KHL, made it a "mutual agreement" between O'Reilly and the KHL -- whereby O'Reilly discontinued his contract with the team, essentially so it can use his open roster spot to sign someone new by the Jan. 31 roster freeze cutoff date in the KHL.

O'Reilly had a contract with his KHL team that allowed him to "opt out" at any time, to come back to the NHL. So reports of him saying he had to decide either-or on staying the full year beyond Jan. 31 are inaccurate.

But KHL teams have to freeze their rosters by Jan. 31, so it was always a gamble for Metallurg to keep him beyond Jan. 31, because he could have left them short a roster spot for the playoff run had he left beyond that date.

As it stands, O'Reilly and the Avs are seemingly no closer to a contract than before. And while nobody has said anything much about the state of the talks, it's possible they've gotten a little worse.

The Avs have retreated to the bunker somewhat in the O'Reilly situation. They're usually quiet about player contracts, but even moreso in the past few days about O'Reilly.

Now, O'Reilly has an injury on top of not having a contract with the Avalanche.

Read more: Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly returns to U.S. with injured foot; Colorado talks sputtering - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_22442600/ryan-oreilly-returns-u-s-injured-foot-avs#ixzz2IzxSdIGq

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