The Calgary Flames got aggressive on Thursday, signing Colorado Avalanche RFA Ryan O’Reilly to a 2-year, $10-million offer sheet that was quickly matched by the Avs.
Should Flames GM Jay Feaster count his blessings that his counterpart Greg Sherman anted up? According to one report, the Flames were saved from losing both O’Reilly and the two draft picks they would have surrendered as compensation to Colorado.
As Chris Johnston of Sportsnet broke the story this morning, O’Reilly’s time in the KHL this season meant he would have had to clear waivers before joining a new team:
The unsigned forward spent part of the NHL lockout playing with his brother, Cal, for Magnitogorsk in Russia. According to Metallurg coach Paul Maurice and KHL spokesman Shawn McBride, he appeared in games on Jan. 21 and Jan. 23 – both after the shortened NHL schedule was back underway – which meant that waivers were required before O’Reilly could return to the NHL as a free agent midway through the season.
…. That would have created a potentially disastrous situation where the Flames had to send two decent draft picks to Colorado before losing the rights to O’Reilly immediately afterwards. Hypothetically, it could even have been the Avalanche that ended up putting in a waiver claim on the player, assuming that they dropped back below Calgary in the standings by the time he hit the wire at the end of next week.
Oh, that would have been rich.
But is this how it would have gone down? The Collective Bargaining Agreement would appear to indicate otherwise, depending on the interpretation.