Flames GM Jay Feaster and the NHL don’t see eye to eye on a rule in the new CBA. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
Ryan O’Reilly may be back with the Colorado Avalanche, but the story of how he almost became a Calgary Flame isn’t over yet.
As first reported by Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston this morning, Flames GM Jay Feaster failed to understand a very critical element of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Had Colorado accepted draft pick compensation instead of matching Calgary’s two-year, $10 million offer, O’Reilly would have been subject to waivers before joining the Flames as a result of having played in the KHL after the NHL season got underway.
And that would have meant only one thing: O’Reilly would have been claimed by another team (likely Columbus) and the Flames would have given away a first- and third-round pick for nothing.
All because Feaster and his staff didn’t bother to contact the league and make absolutely certain that there was no misunderstanding of this CBA clause.
Fortunately for the Flames, the Avs matched the offer and spared Feaster that disastrous outcome.
But while he didn’t lose the picks, he may have lost something more valuable: the trust of Calgary’s ownership in his ability to move forward.