O'Reilly was asked about yet another tough season while Buffalo players cleared out their lockers Monday, and was candid in his response. "It's disappointing, it's sad," he told Joe Yerdon of NHL.com.
"I feel throughout the year I've lost the love of the game multiple times. I need to get back to it; it's eaten myself up and you can see other guys, too. It's eaten myself up. It's tough."
Buffalo managed only 25 wins this season, the lowest total since O'Reilly joined the team in 2015. Overall, the Sabres haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2011.
However, missing the playoffs with Buffalo has at least given O'Reilly the opportunity to compete in the IIHF World Championship the last two seasons (he also participated in 2012, 2013, and 2015 while playing for the Colorado Avalanche). And he announced last week that he'll be making the trip to Denmark next month to represent Canada once again.
The 27-year-old recorded 24 goals and 37 assists in 81 games this season for Buffalo.