DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche matched the Calgary Flames’ offer sheet for forward Ryan O’Reilly here Thursday night at Pepsi Center.
“This was a goal of ours from the onset, to get Ryan signed, and that goal was completed today,” said General Manager/Executive Vice President and Alternate Governor Greg Sherman. “With the support of our ownership, not only today but throughout this entire process, we have come to terms with Ryan O’Reilly and now we move forward as a hockey club.”
The team announced that they had matched the Flames’ offer from earlier in the day during the first period of the club’s game against the same Calgary Flames.
“I can tell you given the time frame that we moved on this that it is pretty clear what our objective was in regards to that question,” Sherman said. “Meeting with [Governor] Josh [Kroenke] and [Owner] Stan [Kroenke], we moved very quickly and efficiently today to go ahead and make the decision to match the offer.”
The Avalanche defeated the Flames in dramatic comeback fashion, erasing deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 to win 5-4. The players participating in the game were unaware that the team had matched the offer sheet.
Sherman said that O’Reilly is one of the team’s young core players and he is glad that he will be a part of the team’s near future.
“It was our goal from day one. In that regard, to get Ryan back in an Avalanche uniform and get him back on the ice as soon as possible,” Sherman said. “We are certainly pleased to have that be the case.”
Colorado selected O’Reilly during the 2009 Entry Draft with its second round pick (33rd overall). He had played in 236 NHL games since the start of the 2009-10 season.
Sherman said that he is hopeful that O’Reilly will be able to join the club on its upcoming three-game road trip, which begins on Sunday in Columbus.
“We are in the process right now of working on those details to get him into Denver, get him to his physical, see our doctor and with hopes of him joining us on the trip,” Sherman said.
UPDATE (March 1, 2013, 3 p.m. MST): Ryan O'Reilly was medically cleared to play and will practice with the team at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the South Suburban Family Sports Center in Centennial, Colo.