The striker is in the final season of a seven-year contract he signed on July 3, 2015, and can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
O’Reilly said after the end of last season that he wanted to stay with the Blues and reiterated that position on Friday.
“I definitely think that’s where I want to be and move on and so on,” he said. “I think things will play out by themselves. I’m just trying to focus on the season, the players and getting ready here. I’m not worried about things not going right. We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”
O’Reilly is in his fifth season with the Blues after being acquired in a deal with the Buffalo Sabers on July 1, 2018. He was appointed captain on December 23, 2020.
“I feel like there’s a lot of focus on next year,” O’Reilly said. “I feel like because we have a good squad and some new faces, the focus is on getting ready for the season. But obviously we’ve started some kind of dialogue. There’s no real rush. We have a long time to find out and I’m not worried. I don’t think [general manager] Doug [Armstrong] worried either. It will work on its own as you go. The focus here is on boot camp, getting fit, and getting ready to go. He has a tough job too, with the team being sold and the like. I think that’s where our focus is.”
The blues fell forward Robert Thomas (July 13) and Jordan Kero (September 13) Each has an eight-year contract worth $65 million (US$8.125 million), each starting next season. This left some questioning how the Blues might fit into O’Reilly’s new contract under the NHL’s salary cap.
O’Reilly said this is not a concern and there is no real rush to get something done.
“I think after I’ve been around, I think if I was younger, I think it would be a problem and such, but I feel like I’ve been established,” said the 31-year-old. “I kind of know where I am. There is no real urgency. I hope we find a way to make it work. I feel happy to just wait and just focus on the season. I hope it goes the right way, but again, the focus here and on the training camp.”
Blues coach Craig Behrop believes the contract issue won’t be a distraction for O’Reilly.
“He’s a first-team player,” Beerup said. “That’s something we stress here all the time, you know. I don’t think it’s going to affect him.”
O’Reilly had 58 points (21 goals, 37 assists) in 78 regular season games last season and helped the Blues reach the second round of the Western Conference before losing to Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche in six games. He had 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 12 playoffs.
He has 250 points (85 goals, 165 assists) in 287 games in four seasons with the Blues, and won the Con Smith Cup as the playoffs player of the year when St. Louis won the Stanley Cup in 2019.
In 13 NHL seasons, O’Reilly earned 672 points (240 goals, 432 assists) in 938 regular season games with the Blues, Avalanche and Sabers, and 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists) in 64 playoffs.