It appeared to be great news for Avalanche fans early Thursday morning, Russia time, when unsigned Colorado center Ryan O'Reilly and his Kontinental Hockey League team, Metallurg, announced a mutual split.

O'Reilly, an NHL restricted free agent, was coming home.

The Avs' leading scorer last season is indeed returning to North America, but likely to his native Ontario.

O'Reilly's agent, Mark Guy, told The Denver Post that O'Reilly is returning only to seek medical treatment for his foot, which he recently injured in a KHL game, and Metallurg said in a news release that O'Reilly might return to Europe to finish the season.

O'Reilly was under contract with Metallurg for approximately $4 million U.S., prorated, with an opt-out clause when/if the NHL lockout ended. The KHL's Jan. 31 roster freeze probably had something to do with the mutual split, given O'Reilly's foot injury and his continuing negotiations with the Avalanche. Metallurg has reason to doubt O'Reilly would be worth keeping past the roster freeze.

But it doesn't mean O'Reilly and the Avs are any closer to coming to an agreement.

"It really doesn't change anything," Guy wrote in a text messsage Thursday night.

The Avs had no comment.

Read more: Unsigned Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly is back? Not so fast - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_22446736/avalanche-journal-unsigned-center-ryan-oreilly-is-back#ixzz2J0m9qPLC

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