Saturday, July 4

Neil Parker




Paydays for Ryan O’Reilly and Brandon Saad, Hot Dogs, and did anyone top Edmonton?






The biggest news Friday was the long-term, big-money contracts signed by Ryan O’Reilly and Brandon Saad.





O’Reilly’s deal is super interesting, and to be honest, I don’t fully understand it. His salary is $1 million per season with the rest of the money being paid as bonuses to avoid high escrow payments, and make the deal essentially buyout proof.


It is a ridiculously hefty cap hit, and it would seem inevitable O’Reilly will fail to live up to the deal, at least statistically.


However, what if he becomes the captain and best two-way player on the roster, and the Sabres are perennial Eastern Conference heavyweights, is it insane money then?


Remember, O’Reilly is just entering his prime, and in a best-care scenario he turns into a Patric Bergeron type, if he isn’t close already. He isn’t too old to mesh with the youth movement in Buffalo, and at 24, he already has six seasons and 427 games in the league.


Obviously, Jack Eichel is the face of the franchise, but with a slight step forward offensively, O’Reilly could play a mean tune as the second fiddler.