- © Photo :
© Photo :
MOSCOW, December 7 (R-Sport) - Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly has signed for KHL team Metallurg Magnitogork on a two-year deal, the Russians said Friday.
O'Reilly, 21, joins his older brother Cal and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin at the team in the Ural mountains, a leading force in the KHL's Eastern Conference.
O'Reilly is a restricted free agent in the NHL, and Metallurg suggested he would stay in Russia unless an NHL team outbid the Russians for his services.
"It has been agreed by mutual consent that if Ryan is offered a contract on more lucrative terms in the National Hockey League, Metallurg will not interfere in that contract being concluded," the team said in a website statement.
Metallurg did not say how much O'Reilly will be paid in Russia.
The Canadian becomes the first big NHL name to move to Russia on a permanent contract since the lockout began, in a move that symbolises the KHL's growing ability to compete with its more illustrious North American rival.
He is unlikely to play alongside his brother soon, after Cal O'Reilly departed for New York for an operation in the coming days, but Metallurg said it did not rule out the duo being on the ice together this season.
Ryan O'Reilly has spent three seasons with the Avalanche, scoring 39 goals and 68 assists in 236 NHL games, and was the team's top scorer last season.
Cal O'Reilly played 113 games for three NHL teams, scoring 13 goals and 28 assists, before moving to Metallurg in the summer as a free agent.
Metallurg is fourth in the Eastern Conference.