Tobias Rieder’s contract negotiations aren’t progressing well, according to his agent, and there’s nothing imminent on the contract front for the 23-year-old restricted free agent.
When the World Cup ends, players from the Canadian and European squads will disperse and head to their respective NHL training camps, but Team Europe’s Tobias Rieder won’t be among those readying for pre-season action.
Rieder, 23, has gone the entire off-season without a new contract, and the Arizona Coyotes restricted free agent winger has reportedly decided to forego training camp altogether while he waits for the Coyotes and his camp to come to terms on a new contract. Rieder’s agent, Darren Ferris, told AZCentral’s Sarah McLellan that the he has made a “fair offer” to the Coyotes, and the proposed deal would pay Rieder $5 million over a two-year deal, but Arizona is “unwilling” to agree to those terms.
“Tobi brings a lot of intangibles to that team,” Ferris told McLellan. “I know he’s a fan favorite. He loves Arizona, but it’s disappointing that they’re unwilling to compensate this kid fairly. But at the end of the day, we’re not far apart but they’re not willing to do it at all. I would doubt at this point that I could say that anything’s imminent in getting done.”
Rieder may not have the immediate recognition as some of the other fresh faces in Arizona — players such as Max Domi, Anthony Duclair or Dylan Strome — but he was a steady contributor for the club this past season. In 82 games, Rieder netted 14 goals and 37 points while averaging middle-six minutes. He’s a useful young player, and the $2.5 million price tag isn’t one that breaks the bank, but it’s obviously more than the Coyotes are willing to budge at this point.
Coyotes GM John Chayka would not comment directly on the supposed offer made by Rieder’s agent, but he told McLellan that the inability of the two sides to reach a deal yet is disappointing, especially as Arizona appears to see Rieder as a player who can be part of the core moving forward.
“We feel like we’ve made him some real considerable long-term offers that are right on par with the longest offers we’ve ever made in this organization,” Chayka told McLellan. “We want him to be here and get engaged with his teammates and join the club. But it’s business, too. He’s not the first guy to go through this and probably won’t be the last.”
Asked if the recent trade request by Winnipeg Jets RFA defenseman would have any impact on Rieder’s negotiation, Chayka told McLellan the two situations aren’t alike — or at least Arizona believes so. Whereas the Jets and Trouba haven’t been able to even begin negotiations, the Coyotes and Rieder have at least exchanged offers.
Even with offers on the table, though, time is running out for Rieder to return to the team ahead of the new season. The regular season begins in less than three weeks, and if Chayka and Co. can’t find a way to work something out with the young winger, they could start the campaign — and possibly even spend the season and beyond — without Rieder’s services.
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