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Avs' O'Reilly ready for challenge of playing left wing

Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 1:52 PM / News

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Avs' O'Reilly ready for challenge of playing left wing
The arrival of No. 1 draft choice Nathan MacKinnon created a logjam at center for the Colorado Avalanche -- one that new coach Patrick Roy said last month will be resolved by moving Ryan O'Reilly to left wing.

The arrival of No. 1 draft choice Nathan MacKinnon created a logjam at center for the Colorado Avalanche -- one that new coach Patrick Roy said last month will be resolved by moving Ryan O'Reilly to left wing.

The change in position is OK with O'Reilly, who had six goals and 20 points in 29 games last season. He missed more than a month of the season before re-signing with the Avalanche as a restricted free agent.

"I'm excited about it," he told the Denver Post's Adrian Dater when asked about a move to the wing. "I'm looking at it as a good new challenge for me. I mean, I'll be playing with two great players [center Matt Duchene and right wing PA Parenteau]. I've played on the wing before, with Canada in the World Championships, so I'm not totally unfamiliar with it.

"I figured when they drafted MacKinnon, something would have to be done."

O'Reilly also said he's excited by the arrival of Patrick Roy, who backstopped the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001.

"He's all about winning," O'Reilly told the Post. "I've talked with him and I came away feeling really good. He brings so much passion to the game. It can't help but rub off on you."

He also said there were no hard feelings after the contract squabble last season.

"This time, I know I'll be at training camp, training at altitude early, with my teammates," he said. "I know I can just concentrate on hockey and nothing else. What happened happened, but I'm just glad it's behind me."

Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players