How Important is O'Reilly to the Avs?
03 Feb 2013
This graph is the ES Corsi of all Avs players with 50min of time on ice with Ryan O'Rilly last season. Green is CS% with O'Reiily on the ice with them, and Orange is their CS% without them on the ice.
(Because Joomla is weird with big pics, here's a link to the full size graph, making it easier to read)
On Adrian Dater's podcast today I said I understood both sides of the debate from both sides (O'Reilly's and The Avs). Well this is a pretty strong (extremely strong) case that O'Reilly makes every other player on the Avs better (except, maybe, poor Davey Jones). In fact, as much as Avs fans drool over the kid, O'REilly is probably an underrated cog in the Avs machine. As I mentioned on the podcast, the loss of O'Reilly and McClement has really forced Paul Stastny into a 3rd line center's role (defensive zone face-offs and QualComp etc). Adding O'Reilly could help the Avs get more out of what is already tied up in a $6.6M investment too.
The more I look at the situation the more I think O'Reilly's best comparable is Jordal Staal right before his second contract (J. Staal got $4M then, which is about $4.54M in today NHL dollars.) O'Reiily has a little less pedigree and fewer points at this point as Staal, but for comparison's sake, here's Jordan Staal's Graph from the season before his second contract:
Here's the one everyone is comparing O'Reilly to, Matt Duchene:
Bottom Line: There's playing hard ball and there's throwing a tantrum and taking your ball and going home. I think both sides are being childishly petulant here (seems to be a reoccurring theme in the business of the NHL). O'Reilly opened with a fairly ridiculous demand, and the Avs camp dug in (we've heard this story before). This should be a negotiation and O'Reilly is probably worth a little more than the Avs are offering, but no where near where he originally demanded.
The Avs are holding firm on their $3.5M offer, when a $4M would probably be enough to sign him (via dater in the aforementioned podcast). In my eyes it looks like the Avs are willing to poison the well with one of their most important players over $1M and a grossly outdated management principle.