A lot of teams have been calling the Avalanche, asking whether Ryan O'Reilly is available in a trade. The Avs' response: They aren't interested in giving up their young leading scorer of last season.

But a contract stalemate continues between the Avs and O'Reilly, with no end in sight. O'Reilly, 21, has returned to his home in Ontario and is tending to his sprained ankle, an injury he suffered during a Kontinental Hockey League game.

O'Reilly, whose 55 points led the Avalanche last season, isn't expected to return to Russia this season. His goal is to play in the NHL this season, hopefully with the Avs.

But with talks between O'Reilly's representatives at the Ontario-based Newport Sports Agency and the Avs at a standstill, odds are growing shorter with every passing day that will happen.

NHL teams can make O'Reilly an offer sheet as a restricted free agent, but would have to surrender draft picks to the Avs if the Avs chose not to match it, the number to be determined by the salary the other team offers. That's why offer sheets are rare in the NHL.

Usually, O'Reilly would have to wait another four seasons — including this one — to become an un- restricted free agent. That would be his seventh pro season, which in the collective bargaining agreement is the benchmark for going UFA.

But a change in the new CBA would make O'Reilly unrestricted after next season if the Avs don't sign him by then. The rationale in plain language: Teams can't just let a player sit and rot for as long as they want if they don't like what the player wants financially.

So the Avs would have to trade O'Reilly by the end of next season if they're still at loggerheads on a new deal and they don't want to lose him for nothing.

O'Reilly wouldn't be able to play immediately even if he signed a new contract. His sprained ankle probably will keep him off his feet a few more days.

Read more: Ryan O'Reilly remains unsigned restricted free agent in NHL - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_22494955/ryan-oreilly-remains-unsigned-restricted-free-agent-nhl#ixzz2JfL11p36

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