Sabres’ O’Reilly admits to tension between him, former teammate Duchene

Ryan O'Reilly admitted to going through difficult times with teammates during his final season in Colorado.
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Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly will make his first return to Colorado — where he spent the first six seasons of his career — Wednesday night, but not all of O’Reilly’s memories with the Avalanche were fond ones. 

O’Reilly was traded to Buffalo on June 26, 2015 just one year after agreeing to a two-year, $12 million contract with the Avalanche prior to arbitration in the summer of 2014. The contract negotiations created some testy times for O’Reilly during the 2014-15 season, and he recently admitted to Bleacher Report that his relationship with the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene suffered due to the entire affair. 

Via Bleacher Report:

“After the whole contract situation at first, the relationship with [Duchene] was a little bit rocky for a while,” O'Reilly said. “But I do think it started to grow back. He's a great guy, and he's a great player, too.”

O’Reilly also admitted to hoping for a bigger role with the Avalanche, and while that never happened, he seized the opportunity to serve as a leader with the Sabres this season. O’Reilly has performed well in that role, leading the Sabres in scoring with 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 46 games. 

The center told Bleacher Report he does not expect the warmest welcome in Denver Wednesday, but it does not seem like O’Reilly’s return will receive as much attention Evander Kane’s recent return to Winnipeg, where Jets fans led a social media campaign to taunt Kane on his first trip back to Winnipeg.