After a few exciting hours, Flames fans were disappointed to learn this evening that the Avalanche have decided to match Jay Feaster's offer sheet for 22-year-old centre Ryan O'Reilly. The Flames' statement regarding the scenario is also interesting, as it implies that this wasn't the first time Feaster had expressed interest in O'Reilly.
Just a few hours after it was announced that the Flames had signed Ryan O'Reilly to an offer sheet, the Avalanche announced that they had decided to match the offer in order to retain their unhappy young star shortly after the start of the Avs' game against the Flames.
Soon afterwards, the Flames released a statement regarding O'Reilly-gate (yes, it's a thing because I said so):
We believe Ryan O’Reilly is a franchise player. While we attempted to acquire him via trade, we felt the asking price was too steep and would negatively impact our future. As such, we decided to tender an offer sheer and were very pleased to have the player accept our offer. We attempted to structure the offer so as to enhance our chances of getting the player. We attempted to improve our hockey team and will continue to do so going forward.
The interesting part of this statement is, of course, that Feaster had previously attempted to acquire O'Reilly via trade, but felt the asking price was "too steep." Obviously it would have been more than the first and a third-round pick that Calgary would have had to give up if the Avs hadn't matched the offer sheet, so I'm very curious about what Feaster thought was too much to give up for a 22-year-old first line centre that would be so devastating to the team as to outweigh the benefits of having a 22-year-old first line centre. Baertschi? Brodie? Backlund? Multiple first round picks Phil Kessel style? Some combination of the above?
What do you think? At what point is the price to steep for a guy like O'Reilly for a team that doesn't have a lot of young talent like the Flames?