Coming off a solid season in which he posted career highs in games played (82), goals (14), points (37) and won a spot on Team Europe for the World Cup of Hockey, Tobias Rieder seemed primed to cash in this summer.
But it hasn’t happened yet.
And what’s more, it doesn’t sound like it’s coming anytime soon.
Rieder’s agent, Darren Ferris, continues to assert that the two sides are not close to a deal, with a significant difference of opinion on what Rieder is worth. Rieder set career highs for goals (14) and assists (23) last season. He averaged 17:18 of ice time in 82 games in the last season of a three-year, $2.8 million entry-level contract.
Ferris said he has some strong interest from European and KHL clubs, and he also intimated on Friday that Rieder could receive an offer sheet from another NHL team, which would force the Coyotes to either match the offer or walk away with compensation. It is unclear whether that will happen.
Having only turned 23 in January, Rieder would seem to have reasonably good value. He’s a very quick skater that can play up and down the lineup, and didn’t just avoid a sophomore slump last season after appearing in 72 games as a rookie — he thrived.
Of course, the hangup in negotiations could be a result of Arizona’s regime change. New GM John Chayka, a strong proponent of analytics, might have a different opinion of Rieder than previous GM Don Maloney, who traded to get Rieder from Edmonton three years ago, then wasted little time in signing him to an entry-level deal.
One would think the next big date on the calendar for both sides is Sept. 4, when Team Europe opens training camp for the World Cup.