Avalanche GM Sakic would like Ryan O'Reilly 'signed by the start of the season'

Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports

Joe Sakic doesn't appear to be picking up the phone quite yet.

The Colorado Avalanche general manager expressed his intent Thursday to sign center Ryan O'Reilly to a contract extension.

"I'd like to have (O'Reilly) signed by the start of the season, hopefully," Sakic said. "I like Ryan a lot. He's a very valuable player. He's part of our core."

This news comes amid reports the Avalanche are willing to listen to trade offers for the 24-year-old center, who has one year and $6 million remaining on his contract before unrestricted free agency kicks in next summer.

Matt Duchene is already locked in long-term at center, with Nathan MacKinnon hitting restricted free agency after next season. A big extension for O'Reilly, therefore, would tie up significant cap space at one position.

O'Reilly recorded 17 goals and 38 assists last season, with a Corsi For rating of 49.

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Avalanche GM Sakic would like Ryan O'Reilly 'signed by the start of the season'
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