March 2, 2013
Avs should have rolled the dice and let O'Reilly go

Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons says the Colorado Avalanche should not have matched the Calgary Flames' offer to Ryan O'Reilly (pictured) and hope they got a high draft pick in return. (QMI Agency/Files)

Lost in all the controversy over the Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet: Why did the Colorado Avalanche match the Calgary Flames offer?

Why not roll the dice here if you’re the struggling Avalanche, look at the roster of the Flames, realize the possibilities for an early first-round selection in the draft, and take your chances?

This is the year of Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon. This is the year of franchise players at the top of the draft.

Much as I like O’Reilly — and I do, he’s an excellent NHL contributor. But he’s not a star. He never will be a star.

Jones could be a franchise-changing player.

Oddly, after tripping all over themselves and almost ending up with nothing in this awkward mess, the Flames will be fortunate to end up with an early lottery pick, they may mistake themselves in an excellent player. Colorado could have really messed them up by matching.