The Arizona Coyotes have played hardball with their restricted free agent (RFA) Tobias Rieder all off-season, and now it appears that the two sides won’t be coming to an agreement.
In an email to Craig Morgan of ArizonaSports.com, Rieder’s agent Darren Ferris said the young winger is “really disappointed” with the team, adding he thinks “it would be best for both parties if they just traded him.”
As Pro Hockey Rumors reported earlier today, Rieder is looking for a two-year, $5MM contract, while the Coyotes won’t budge from their two-year, $4.4MM offer. Ferris called the team’s lack of negotiation “unfortunate.”
Coyotes GM John Chayka said the team was originally interested in signing Rieder long-term, but the two sides couldn’t establish any common ground so they moved on to a bridge deal. Chayka told Morgan there isn’t a lot of “wiggle-room or creativity involved” when limited to comparables. The new GM insists Rieder will not be traded. If that’s the case and the two sides cannot come to terms, then the KHL is likely Rieder’s next option. Ferris said they have received a couple of offers from clubs in the KHL, which he will turn his attention to in the coming week.
Rieder is currently in Toronto, where he’s suiting up for Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey Finals versus Canada. Coyotes head coach and executive VP of hockey operations Dave Tippett was also taking part as an assistant coach for Team North America. Morgan reports the two men had dinner together earlier in the tournament, but could not make any progress on a deal.
The 23-year-old Rieder scored 14 goals and 37 points in 82 games last season.