The Colorado Avalanche have matched the two-year, $10 million offer sheet forward Ryan O'Reilly signed with the Calgary Flames earlier Thursday, the team announced.
O’Reilly, a restricted free agent who led the Avalanche in scoring last season, has not yet played this season because he had not yet signed a contract. The Avalanche deciding to match is somewhat of a surprise because of tensions that built between the two parties since the end of the NHL lockout.
The Avalanche had until March 7 to match the offer. If it had decided not to match, Colorado would have received first- and third-round draft picks.
The 22-year-old O'Reilly was the 33rd overall pick of the 2009 NHL Draft. He has scored 39 goals and added 68 assists in 236 career games with the Avalanche over three seasons.
BREAKING: @avalanche announced tonight that the team has matched the Calgary Flames’ offer sheet for forward Ryan O’Reilly. More to follow.. — Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) March 1, 2013