DETROIT — Forty-five minutes after the first guy had left the ice, the last guy was still out there. Some members of the Colorado Avalanche were already showered, dressed and boarding a team bus while Ryan O’Reilly did one of his funky drills – taking a pass, popping the puck over a stick shaft, maneuvering it around a water bottle, firing a shot. Everyone was gone by the time O’Reilly did the last of his gassers.
O’Reilly was doubled over, stick on his knees, when a maintenance man pushed a stepladder across the ice, now an empty, choppy mess. Was it a hint to get the heck off so someone else could work?
“Guess so,” O’Reilly said with a smile.
This is who O’Reilly is, in one sense. He’s a first-one-on, last-one-off kind of guy. He’s always staying after practice and coming up with creative drills, developing skills you didn’t know were skills, and he takes pride in his conditioning. Veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere called him the Avs’ hardest-working player “byRead More »from Ryan O'Reilly: The Factor on 'franchise player' expectations and his future in Colorado