NHL Rumors: Ryan O’Reilly contract talks on hold with St. Louis Blues

Ryan O'Reilly
Sep 27, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly (90) during warmups before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan O’Reilly is entering his fifth season with the St. Louis Blues. He’s also in the final year of a 7-year deal that was signed with the Buffalo Sabres back in 2016 which comes with an AAV of $7.5 million.

The 31 year-old center registered 58 points in 78 games during the 2021-22 campaign. He also helped the Blues capture their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history in 2019 by leading the team in playoff scoring with 23 points in 26 games.

So will the St. Louis Blues be extending their captain?

NHL Rumors: Ryan O’Reilly contract talks on hold

ryan o'reilly nhl rumors
May 17, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (90) before game one of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues made sure to lock up two of their key young players in Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou this summer, with both of them inking identical 8-year extensions ($8.125M AAV).

Now the Blues next order of business will be O’Reilly, but per Pierre LeBrun’s latest report states those talks are temporarily on hold.

It sounds like the plan is for the Blues and Ryan O’Reilly’s camp, led by veteran agent Pat Morris of Newport Sports, to circle back to each other in January. The Blues captain is a pending UFA July 1. O’Reilly, the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, turns 32 in February and has a $7.5 million cap hit on his expiring deal.

Pierre LeBrun, The Athletic (subscription required)

Ryan O’Reilly’s next contract

The consensus by most of the top insiders in the NHL is that the Blues and O’Reilly will find common ground on a new deal.

Jeff Marek recently suggested that Nazem Kadri’s 7-year deal with the Flames at an AAV of $7 million is a good starting point. His 32 Thoughts podcast co-host, Elliotte Friedman thinks the obstacle to overcome will be the number of years on the contract.

“O’Reilly is going to be 32, but he takes care of himself,” Friedman said. “The last time they had a top free agent he ended up in Vegas and that was Alex Pietrangelo. I think they will look to avoid that situation but the issue is going to be term.”

Of course, it helps that O’Reilly seems intent on staying put in St. Louis.

“I definitely think this is where I want to be and move forward.” O’Reilly said last month. “I kind of know where I stand. There’s no real urgency. Hopefully we find a way to make it work. I feel I’m happy with just waiting and just focusing on the season. Hopefully things play out the right way.”

Starting his 14th NHL season, O’Reilly has 672 points in 939 games split with the Blues, Sabres, and Colorado Avalanche, who drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft.