Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that the Edmonton Oilers have decided the price is no longer too high on Tobias Rieder, and will sign the free agent forward to a one-year contract worth $2MM. Rieder did not receive a qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Kings and became an unrestricted free agent.
The deal is the optimal “prove it” contract as the Oilers aren’t risking more that $2MM to see if they can get him to have a breakout season and if it fails, they can move on with no repercussions. With Rieder’s speed, he might be a solid fit next to Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl on one of the top two lines. If he is a success, then Edmonton still gets his restricted free agent rights next season, so they can keep him in the fold. And at age 25, he’s still has potential to improve his game and fit in well with the younger core of Oilers. He also has some penalty killing experience, which can’t hurt an Edmonton team that struggled with special teams last season.
The speedy winger has always had a tremendous amount of potential and looked to be well on his way after his first three years in Arizona in which he tallied 13, 14 and 16 goals. However, he fell out of favor with Rick Tocchet and the team opted instead to send him and goaltender Scott Wedgewood to Los Angeles for backup goalie Darcy Kuemper. Rieder posted four goals and six points in 20 games after the trade, but it wasn’t enough for the Kings to give him an qualifying offer.