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Interest in O'Reilly continues to escalate

The Montreal Canadiens join the mix, along with the Canucks and Hurricanes

June 11, 2018 - 5:04 pm

Kyle Powell reporting

As the rumors continue to grow around veteran forward Ryan O'Reilly, so slowly does the list of potential suitors. Since locker cleanout day, O'Reilly's future with the Buffalo Sabres has been up in the air. There have been people who have emerged and risen to his defense, and others who condemned him for saying he "lost his love" for a game several times during the year.

No matter which side you fall on, the fact has not changed that the speculation around O'Reilly's future in Buffalo is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

Various accounts and sources have commented and confirmed rumors about potential trade partners for Buffalo in the last two weeks. Several people involved in the NHL have all spoken on behalf of teams like the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, and the Carolina Hurricanes and their interest in the veteran centerman. 

TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie joined Howard Simon and Jeremy White on Monday morning, and not only expressed that Montreal was interested in acquiring O'Reilly, but they would also be willing to eat some of his salary to make it happen.

"Obviously at the right price," Lavoie said. "They're not going to overpay for Ryan O'Reilly, but that being siad, they're looking for a No. 1 or No. 2 centerman. They don't have anyone right now in the organization who holds that title. I think Ryan is an impressive player. He's really good defensively, offensivley. Is he a superstar type of player? No, but can he help? There's no doubt about that."

As for Carolina, there have been many speculations that the two franchises could work out a "1-for-1"-type of deal, centered around O'Reilly and Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, or one of their defenseman (Justin Falk, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin).

Lavoie also briefly touched on Vancouver's interest to this point in the NHL offseason, but not many specifics were discussed quite yet, aside from the fact that the Canucks, much like the Canadiens, would be willing to cover some future salary on behalf of Buffalo and O'Reilly.

O'Reilly is a coveted commodity in the industry because of how he plays the crucial minutes of a game, including both sides of the special teams. Lavoie went on to say that teams are "always looking for centers. That's what the Sabres are counting on."

You can listen to Lavoie's entire interview with Howard and Jeremy below:

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