By Brandon J. Koch
The Buffalo Sabres invested a 7-year contract in Ryan O’Reilly back in 2015.
With O’Reilly’s recent comments about how he lost the love of the game and lacked mental toughness throughout this past season, is it time for a change of scenery?
There are mixed opinions on O’Reilly’s comments, some love the honesty. For once, a professional athlete didn’t give a cliché answer. Instead, spoke about what really happened.
Others, are bashing the Sabres center. Bringing up his contract and saying he needs to be traded and how he will never be a leader.
General Manger Jason Botterill brought up the idea of possibly of trading a core piece in the offseason to change things up. Should O’Reilly be that core piece going out?
My thoughts: At the right price, I would. Elliotte Friedman in his 31 thoughts brought up the fact that O’Reilly has value within the league and that rumors and rumblings will kick back up during the summer. If the Sabres could get a good haul back, it will definitely help the rebuild process.
On he other hand, I am conflicted when thinking about this question. ROR on a good team is a very solid #2 center. He does everything you want a center to do. Face-offs, power play, penalty kill, heavy minutes.
“On a good team,” is the key phrase here. That’s something the Sabres are not right now.
He’s still somewhat young but has been in the league for a while. I know the Sabres front office didn’t like the fact that O’Reilly said that on Monday.
What a difference couple seasons make. The Sabres traded for O’Reilly on draft night in 2015, and everyone thought he would be a cornerstone for years to come.
Now, his future is uncertain.