With the Avs signing O’Reilly, a lot of fans seem very happy and seem to consider the contract to be fair. It must be fair, right? Because the Avs moved their number up and O’Reilly moved his number down.
What I want to challenge is the idea that O’Reilly is worth an average of 6 million dollars per year. That’s what Duchene makes, and a big part of this story was the Avs not wanting to pay anyone more than him. Since this contract is equal to Duchene’s many are claiming that it’s fair and everything is fine. What I say is the Avs overpaid and might have been better off going to arbitration.
Let’s look at some stats for last season provided by Hockey Analysis:
(All numbers are 5v5)
O’Reilly’s stats with Duchene on the ice:
Goals/20 mins: 0.92
Assists/20 mins: 1.04
Corsi for %: 48.9
O’Reilly’s stats without Duchene on the ice:
Goals/20 mins: 0.78
Assists/20 mins: 0.99
Corsi for %: 45.9
Duchene’s stats without O’Reilly on the ice:
Goals/20 mins: 1.44
Assists/20 mins: 0.81
Corsi for %: 50.7
Here’s a chart for those who are visual learners like me:
As you can see from these numbers, O’Reilly is not as productive when he’s not playing with Duchene whereas Duchene is actually more productive without O’Reilly - he just scores more of the goals himself.
What this tells me is that while these two clearly work well together, Duchene is the better player and thus should be the one paid more. It also tells me that, since O’Reilly is being paid the same as Duchene, he’s is being overpaid based on the Avs salary structure. It tells me that the Avs lost on this deal and O’Reilly won.
But hey, let’s enjoy these two guys playing together while we can.