Ryan O’Reilly: Time for the Colorado Avalanche to part ways with the forward


Ryan O’Reilly has had a slow start to the new season and so have the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado’s main weakness right now could be scoring the puck, but defense has been an issue even when the club made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. Simple solution: trade Ryan O’Reilly for a top defenseman.

Avs fans everywhere (including myself) have been clamoring for the team to make a trade regarding a top-4 defenseman. Colorado has a couple solid options in Erik Johnson, Jan Hejda, and Tyson Barrie, but they need more than that to compete. Colorado already has the forward position set for the next couple of years with young guns such as Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog. Throw in some key role players such as Jamie McGinn, Alex Tanguay, John Mitchell, and even Jarome Iginla and you’re set on the offensive end.

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O’Reilly and the Avalanche have had contract disputes throughout the past couple of seasons which is frustrating if you’re a fan of the team. The best thing to do right now for this team moving forward is to gauge trade interest for Ryan O’Reilly and see what you can get in return from the defensive position. Brad Stuart has started to play a lot better of late coming back from injury, but you simply can’t trust throwing players like Nick Holden, Nate Guenin, and Ryan Wilson (injured) on the ice and expect good results.

O’Reilly, 23, has gotten off to a slow start like most of the Avalanche players this season. Through 36 games played, O’Reilly has collected just six goals and 14 assists – good for T-7th on the team in terms of points. Former Denver Post columnist Adrian Dater said O’Reilly was reportedly drawing interest from teams such as the Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets. Even the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs surfaced in the conversation.

You never know what can happen in the world of sports, but as of right now, Colorado is on the outside looking in – in terms of making the playoffs. The team sits with a record of 13-15-8, 34 points – good for seventh in the Central Division Standings. Colorado needs to make a deal (a splash if you will) which they have been hesitant to do so over the last two seasons. O’Reilly seems to be their best trade candidate right now and rightfully so, because you don’t want to move young talent such as Duchene, Landy, or MacKinnon.