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Avs GM Joe Sakic tamps down trade rumours, says he still wants to sign O'Reilly long term

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DENVER - Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic says it's still his desire to sign Ryan O'Reilly to a long-term contract before the start of next season.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Sakic said he's not out to trade his star centre.

He praised O'Reilly, saying: "I like Ryan a lot. He is a very valuable player. He's part of our core and yeah, my first priority would be to sign him. Obviously, we'll see where it all goes."

Sakic said he doesn't want to enter next season without a deal in place with O'Reilly, who would become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He stressed: "I don't think the team needs it. I don't think he needs it. That's why it's important for us that we have something done."

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