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January 21, 2014 | 8:22pm ET
The O'Reilly Factor
TheFourthPeriod.com

Five days before the March 5 trade deadline marks an important milestone in the career of Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly.

February 28 is the date the trade freeze lifts for the 22-year-old Avalanche centerman.

For the past 12 months, Colorado was restricted from trading O'Reilly after matching the Calgary Flames' RFA offer sheet last February.

O'Reilly has accumulated 18 goals and 15 assists and possesses a plus-5 rating this season. The Avalanche currently holds the fifth spot in the Western Conference with a 31-12-5 record.

According to TSN, Colorado's decision on O'Reilly is still unknown and some clubs are eagerly anticipating an answer, including the Vancouver Canucks who are searching for a center. In return, Colorado could welcome an upgrade on defense.

O'Reilly will become a restricted free agent as of July 1, with a qualifying offer of $6.5 million.

If made available for a trade, O'Reilly would be considered one of the top players on the trade market.

Pending unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny is also reportedly an option for Colorado to obtain a top defenseman by the March 5 trade deadline. The center has 13 goals and 23 assists so far this season. The 28-year-old is in his last year of a five-year, $33 million contract.


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