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Avalanche’s Ryan O’Reilly leaves KHL team

Ryan O'Reilly

The Canadian Press

Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly has left the Metallurg Magnitogorsk after reaching an agreement with the Kontinental Hockey League team to terminate his contract, according to an rsport.ru report.

The Magnitogorsk released O'Reilly, an NHL restricted free agent, because they thought he'd return to North America soon after the KHL signing window closed Jan. 31. He signed a two-year deal with Metallurg in December, but it contained an out clause that allowed him to join a NHL franchise at a higher salary, according to the report.

The Avalanche recently lost forward Steve Downie for the season with a knee injury.

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"Ryan did not rule out the possibility of a new contract overseas during February and he understood that this course of events would affect Metallurg's preparations for the playoffs," Metallurg said in a statement.

The 21-year-old had 18 goals and 37 assists in 81 games last year, more than doubling the 26-point campaigns he put up in each of his first two seasons in the NHL.

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