Avs and Yotes talking O’Reilly for Yandle swap?

Ryan O'Reilly

Ryan O’Reilly

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman made a radio appearance on Edmonton’s 630 CHED this past Friday. The transcript below is from Nichols on Hockey:

“I do think it’s more likely than not [Yandle] goes…. The one thing you know is it’s been different in years past, where you’ve had him under contract for awhile. Now you’re a year and a half to unrestricted free agency. He’s going to be 29 when he hits the market. 28 or 29. And he’s a big points guy. Those guys are going to get paid. And you never know how it’s going to work with new ownership in Arizona. We’ve always had questions about that.

“But I do think – I mean, there’s been a  lot of talk about him going to Colorado for Ryan O’Reilly. I think that’s an interesting deal. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly how much there is to that. But that rumor has kind of been out there for a few days.”

Keith Yandle

Keith Yandle

Friedman’s logic is that the Coyotes are looking to build around the young talent they have in Boedeker and with Max Domi next season. Yandle’s age and O’Reilly’s similar cap hit (Yandle 5.25 / O’Reilly 6) seem like a potential fit.

Still, why would the Avalanche trade a 23 year old center for a defenseman nearing 30 looking for a big pay day in 2016? Ryan O’Reilly is struggling, that is for sure. After last season’s 28 goal and 64 point campaign, he’s on pace for only 14 goals and 46 points.

Let’s not forget the heated and tumultuous contract negotiations that resulted in Calgary signing O’Reilly to an offer sheet only to see Colorado match. At the time, Joe Sakic said there would be no sign and trade. Well, one year later and it sure looks like that’s where this is headed.

The Avalanche are looking for a top pairing defenseman to play with Tyson Barrie. A veteran partner like Yandle could see Barrie reach another level, similar to Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Arizona.

If this deal should go down, I wouldn’t expect it until sometime near the trade deadline in March.

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