The Arizona Coyotes are in the midst of discussions with restricted free agent winger Tobias Rieder and defenseman Connor Murphy but the progress the team is making with each differs considerably, writes Sarah McLellan of AZCentral. Talks with Murphy’s agent Brian Bartlett began last weekend and are going well while talks have been ongoing with Rieder’s agent Darren Ferris but the two sides remain far apart on a new deal.
Both players are restricted free agents coming off their entry level contracts and are not eligible for arbitration. Last season, Rieder set career highs across the board in his second full NHL campaign, scoring 14 goals and 23 assists in 82 games with the Coyotes. He also logged an average of 17:18 per game, third highest among Coyote forwards. Rieder was acquired from Edmonton back in March of 2013 and received a qualifying offer of just over $874K in late June.
Murphy, in his third NHL season, picked up six goals and 11 assists in 78 games while averaging a career high 20:30 per game, the third highest average on the team behind Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Michael Stone. Murphy was Arizona’s first round pick (20th overall) in the 2011 draft and also received a qualifying offer just over $874K last month.
On top of Rieder and Murphy, the team also has to re-sign arbitration-bound Stone, who was qualified at $1.45MM. The team also is hoping to re-sign long-time captain Shane Doan to a one year deal. The 39 year old scored 28 goals last year for the Coyotes, his highest goal total since 2008-09.
Arizona has just under $18.9MM in salary cap space to work with this offseason according to Cap Friendly.