O’Reilly ‘not worried’ about ironing out extension with Blues

Posted: 23/09/2022 in NHL
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St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly can become an unrestricted free agent once the 2022-23 season concludes, but the veteran center isn’t rushing to put pen to paper before the new campaign begins.

“I feel like because we have such a good team and some new faces, the focus is getting ready for the season,” he said, according to NHL.com’s Lou Korac. “But, obviously, we’ve kind of started some dialogue. There’s just no real rush. We’ve got a long time to figure that out and I’m not worried. I don’t think (general manager) Doug (Armstrong) is worried either.

“It’ll work itself out as it goes. The focus here is on training camp and getting in shape and getting ready to go.”

The Blues already handed out hefty extensions to Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas in the summer. The identical eight-year, $65-million pacts won’t kick in until the 2023-24 season but will take a sizeable chunk out of St. Louis’ available cap space. The Blues also have winger Vladimir Tarasenko, whose current contract expires at the end of this campaign, to think about.

However, O’Reilly isn’t spending much time worrying about the Blues’ salary cap situation.

“I think if I was younger, I think it would be more of an issue and such, but I feel like I’ve been established,” he said. “I kind of know where I stand. There’s no real urgency. Hopefully, we find a way to make it work. I feel I’m happy with just waiting and just focusing on the season.”

O’Reilly, 31, has donned the “C” for St. Louis since 2020. His 250 points in 287 games since arriving via trade ahead of the 2018-19 campaign are the most on the team.

The two-way talent put up 21 goals and 37 assists in 78 contests last season. He will carry a cap hit of $7.5 million in 2022-23.

The Blues finished third in the Central Division after posting a 49-22-11 record. The Colorado Avalanche eliminated them in the second round of the playoffs.

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