The Arizona Coyotes and Restricted Free Agent (RFA) winger Tobias Rieder are “not close” in contract talks according to Rieder’s agent, Darren Ferris, in a conversation with Arizona Sports columnist Craig Morgan.
Rieder completed his entry-level contract with career highs across the board, scoring 14 goals and 37 points in 82 games. Ferris told Morgan their camp feels Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri and new Coyotes winger Jamie McGinn are fair comparisons for Rieder; while both scored more points than Rieder last season, Rieder has superior possession stats. Kadri and McGinn have both signed new contracts this summer, worth $4.5MM and $3.33MM respectively.
Coyotes rookie GM John Chayka says talks have not progressed in “a while”, and that the team has made what they think is a fair offer. Rieder is not eligible for arbitration, something Chayka says the team isn’t trying to take advantage of. The contract impasse has lead Ferris to explore European and KHL options, but he says Rieder’s first choice is stay in the NHL.
The Coyotes’ qualifying offer, tendered in late June, expires on July 15. The two sides have until December 1 to negotiate a new contract, at which point Rieder is ineligible to play in the coming season.
Arizona has three other key free agents left to sign, captain Shane Doan is a UFA and defensemen Michael Stone and Connor Murphy are RFAs. The Coyotes have $18.68MM in cap space, according to CapFriendly.