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Avalanche, O'Reilly avoid arbitration; agree to 2-year, $12-million contract

James Guillory / USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche avoided arbitration with center Ryan O'Reilly, the two sides agreeing to a two-year contract worth $12 million, according to a report from TSN's Darren Dreger. The deal will pay O'Reilly $5.8 million next season and $6.2 million during in 2015-16, and will carry an annual averaged value of $6 million. 

The Avalanche were poised to argue to an arbitrator that O'Reilly - coming off a 64-point, Lady Byng Trophy-winning season despite logging tough minutes against top competition - should have his salary cut by 15 percent. So this settlement allows O'Reilly and the club to avoid what would have been an unusually acrimonious hearing.

O'Reilly, 23, has already accrued five seasons of professional experience in his NHL career, so this two-year contract will take him through to unrestricted free agency at the age of 25. 

"We are pleased to have Ryan under contract," said Avalanche Executive Vice President Joe Sakic in a team release. "We are looking at the upcoming training camp and season with a lot of excitement."

O'Reilly's teammates seem similarly excited:

Avalanche, O'Reilly avoid arbitration; agree to 2-year, $12-million contract
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