BUFFALO – That didn’t take long. A week after the Sabres acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Avalanche, they locked up their new No. 1 center today with a max deal, a whopping seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension.
That’s an average annual value of $7.5 million.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who tweeted the contract’s value, O’Reilly’s salary will be $1 million per season. The rest will be paid via a yearly signing bonus: $10 million, $8 million, $7.5 million and four years of $5 million.
Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Wednesday the sides were close to a deal. It turned out to be the biggest the team has ever awarded.
Update: The Sabres just released the following statement from Murray: “We’re happy to have Ryan locked up to a long-term deal. It’s not easy to find a player who, at his age, is already established in the league as someone who plays a complete game and makes his teammates better. When we acquired him, we viewed him as someone who could immediately improve our roster but was still young enough to make an impact for several years to come, and this contract reflects that belief.”
The 24-year-old O’Reilly, widely considered one of the NHL’s top all-around forwards, has 90 goals and 246 points in 427 games.
The Sabres sent center Mikhail Grigorenko, defenseman Nikita Zadorov, wing prospect J.T. Compher and the 31st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to the Avs for O’Reilly and winger Jamie McGinn.
Update: The Sabres have officially signed O’Reilly’s brother, Cal, a center, and announced one-year deal with defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo worth a reported $800,000.
Another update: The Sabres just announced next week’s development camp schedule.
Monday: On-ice coach’s practice: 1 – 3 p.m.
Tuesday: On-ice skills practice: 2:30 – 6 p.m.
Wednesday: On-ice coach’s practice: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday: On-ice testing: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday: Pre-scrimmage skates: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Blue & Gold Scrimmage: 7 p.m.
Saturday: Off Day
Sunday: Practice/three-on-three tournament: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
ROR contract very interesting. Salary is $1M per year. Rest is signing bonus: 10, 8, 7.5, 5, 5, 5 and 5.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 3, 2015