The Calgary Flames shocked the world and took a headfirst dive into the new CBA by extending a two-year, $10-million offer sheet to RFA Ryan O'Reilly. The Colorado Avalanche didn't shock many by matching the offer before it was even a day old, refuting the first and third round picks the Flames would have had to give up in compensation had Colorado let O'Reilly walk.
Many Rangers fans are upset that the team didn't make a play for him, but this entire situation proved that he simply wasn't worth it.
Let's make something very clear here, the Rangers didn't miss the boat on the Ryan O'Reilly situation, they waved to it as they let it pass them by. So many of you would have offered up Derek Stepan, Michael Del Zotto and others for a chance to bring him to New York. And while I don't deny that he's a talent, is he worth the money Calgary or Colorado is shelling out for him?
Remember, as well, the Rangers couldn't offer sheet O'Reilly. The team providing the offer sheet must use their own picks from the next upcoming draft as compensation - and since the Rangers don't have this year's first round pick thanks to the Rick Nash trade, the team couldn't go that route. So instead, the Rangers would have had to trade Derek Stepan or Michael Del Zotto along with top prospects for a player who demanded a long-term, big money deal. He got that deal, and even though it's only two years, more money will need to be shoveled into his pockets to keep him once this deal expires.
Are you willing to move Del Zotto or Stepan for that? I know both players get a lot of criticism - some deserved, but a lot undeserved - but you can't deny the importance they have to this team's success. And moving prospects or picks as well? It's just too much.
Even if the deal was Stepan for O'Reilly straight-up, the financial aspects of the deal simply aren't worth it. I promise you, Stepan will not make anywhere near what O'Reilly is currently making thanks to that new deal. It's not happening, nor should it. And that has nothing to do with Stepan's talent and everything to do with Glen Sather's stance when it comes to RFA's coming off their entry level contracts. He's done it to Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Artem Anisimov and Michael Del Zotto. Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Stepan, J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh will get the same treatment.
Notice the pattern? Everyone goes through it, so it's not insulting and it's not unwarranted. Sather has leverage in those negotiations, and he uses it, the same way players do when they're pending UFA's.
So before you lament over the Rangers not swinging a deal for O'Reilly, remember what it would have cost, and remember what you already have. I take Derek Stepan at 2-3$-million a year over O'Reilly at $5-million seven days a week and twice on Sunday. That could change (obviously) in a couple of years, but in a new cap-strapped world? It's simply not worth the risk.
Especially when you're risking money that has to go to guys like Kreider, McDonagh and Hagelin.