Trade speculation begins to circle Ryan O'Reilly

April 13, 2018

Joe DiBiase reporting

Ryan O'Reilly made news with his comments this week at locker room cleanout day. O'Reilly said he "lost passion for the game at times this year". Not something you often here from professional athletes. With Jason Botterill talking about the need for change and the need to get more speed up front, O'Reilly's name is starting to creep into trade rumors. 

TSN's Bob McKenzie talked to TSN 690 on Montreal about O'Reilly on Friday morning. 

"Quite aside from his comments, he was one of the guys that I think they were thinking of trading anyways"

"They are looking at making change. In order to facilitate that change, I you can’t just take guys that are no good or deep into your lineup and say, ‘We’re going to move those guys and that’s going to change the culture."

McKenzie went on to talk about hos O'Reilly would be a "godsend" for the Montreal Canadiens. A team that doesn't have a true #1 or even #2 centerman. Making that trade would mean Jason Botterill would be okay trading O'Reilly within the division. It could also mean getting more from Montreal because of that same fact. 

McKenzie's colleague at TSN, Darren Dreger, joined The Instigators on WGR for his regular Friday visit. Dreger had some of the same sentiments that McKenzie talked about in Montreal. 

"The sense that I've been given from the management in Buffalo, is yeah of course he's going to listen on Ryan O'Reilly...but it would take an absolute sweetheart deal for the Buffalo Sabres to consider. In saying that, he's a hell of a player. On pretty much every team in the league he's at least a #2 center isn't he? There's going to be a market for Ryan O'Reilly and Jason Botterill is going to have some tough decisions specific to O'Reilly.

"Teams who need centers will do whatever they need to do to get in that conversation...Botterill will be big game hunting."

At this rate, O'Reilly trade talk could really pick up after the Stanley Cup Playoffs and ahead of the NHL Draft in June. O'Reilly is under contract through the 2022-23 season, so if Jason Botterill doesn't like what teams are offering he shouldn't be in any hurry to make a move. 

You can listen to Darren Dreger's full segment on The Instigators below.