Ryan O'Reilly Reveals Why He Refused to Sign Back in Toronto

Published July 18, 2023 at 12:23

Ryan O'Reilly spoke in a new interview about his time in Toronto, and revealed his reasons for not re-signing with the Leafs.

O'Reilly confirms reasons for leaving Toronto as Free Agent

O'Reilly, who was acquired by the Maple Leafs near the Trade Deadline from St. Louis, spoke in an interview for 'First Up' on TSN 1050, and detailed his reasons for making the move to Nashville.

O'Reilly, 32, said that it wasn't a simple decision to not re-sign in Toronto, but mentioned that Nashville felt like the right location for him and his family.

"It was not an easy decision by any means to leave Toronto, but there's a lot that goes into it. My family and I felt it was best to join Nashville."

When mentioning his reasons for choosing the Predators, O'Reilly said that he had considered a return to the Maple Leafs, but valued a change of scenery, not out of a disagreement with Toronto's formula, but for the goal of a new opportunity. O'Reilly said that it wasn't "an easy decision" to leave the Leafs, but reiterated that it was a family decision.

Notably, O'Reilly didn't appear to cite any reasons related to Toronto, for his departure. Despite speculation on social media about uncertainty in the locker room, none of the comments by O'Reilly signaled ant animosity towards the Leafs, or at their Front Office.

As well, O'Reilly went out of his way and expressed his gratitude for his time in Toronto, giving credit to the organization for their hospitality and gave an overwhelmingly positive review of the team.

"It was incredible......I couldn't have went to a better place. The way the organization is. It's the Yankees of the NHL. The way you're treated. It was an amazing time."

O'Reilly signed a four-year, $18M deal with the Predators in Free Agency. Fellow Leaf midseason acquisition Luke Schenn also joined O'Reilly in Nashville, which O'Reilly said was coincidental, but he was excited to reunite with Schenn.

Prior, O'Reilly told reporters at his Predators presser that he believed that Nashville is on the cusp of being a legitimate contender, saying that the team has a strong core that has a real shot at winning in the future.

"I think, as a group, we have great leadership. We have great young pieces. Why can't we contend? Why can't we?"

As Read on Blade of Steel - O'Reilly speaks about not wanting to be in Toronto
July 18   |   101 answers
Ryan O'Reilly Reveals Why He Refused to Sign Back in Toronto

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