3 Free-Agent Destinations for Ryan O'Reilly

Ryan O'Reilly is set to hit the open market on July 1 as it's a long shot for the veteran center to be returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. At 32 years old, he's one of the more experienced free agents and his long list of accolades makes him an interesting option for a number of teams. O'Reilly is one of the best when it comes to making an impact on the game as 'The Factor' does so much more on the ice than shows up on a score sheet. Here's three teams O'Reilly may end up signing with this summer:

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins need a third-line center and if O'Reilly is open to taking a little bit less money for a chance to win a Stanley Cup, he may follow Kyle Dubas to Pittsburgh. The Pens are bracing for changes, but it won't be to their core and will be the complimentary pieces interchanging. They have over $20 million in cap space and will be using some to add a center. Would O'Reilly fit in after Crosby and Malkin? Very likely.

Columbus Blue Jackets

If O'Reilly wants to chase the bag, it may take him to the Blue Jackets. They are desperate for a centerman and O'Reilly is one of a select few worth considering among the free agents. Last season he was inconsistent and a bit banged up but 'The Factor' helped the Maple Leafs win a first-round series for the first time in 19 years. Columbus will be very interested and have Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine to dangle when it comes to contract talks with O'Reilly.

St Louis Blues

The Blues love O'Reilly and the feeling is certainly mutual. He's set up shop in St Louis and it continues to be home for his wife and kids. The team kept him very informed when it came to the trade talks last season, showing a ton of respect throughout the process. O'Reilly noticed and has a very soft spot for the Blues. There's a good chance a reunion takes place this summer.

Honorable mentions: Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers

Photo credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports