Arizona Coyotes Forward Tobias Rieder Still Without Contract

As we approach the start of training camp, Arizona Coyotes restricted free agent forward Tobias Rieder is still without a contract.

For the Arizona Coyotes, this is probably not how they drew it up.

One would assume new General Manager John Chayka expected a fairly easy negotiation with German winger and restricted free agent Tobias Rieder, but the reality has turned out much different.

Now, reports indicate that Rieder won’t attend camp without a contract in place due to visa-related issues, among other things.

That more or less ensures that if one side or the other doesn’t blink soon, we could be seeing an NFL-like holdout from Tobi, or worse yet…him making good on his agent’s threat to sign with the KHL.

It’s an unfortunate situation for Chayka and the Coyotes.

The offer tendered to Rieder is fair given his market value and the value of comparable players, but #8 wants a little more to sweeten the deal.

Arizona is looking at $2M to $2.3M per year on a two-year deal, while Tobias Rieder and his agent are reportedly seeking a two-year deal worth $2.75M per year.

Those few hundred thousand dollars may be the difference between Rieder being an Arizona Coyotes player for another few years or skating in Russia.

The speedster is a valuable part of the franchise’s youth movement. In some ways he was the first through the line among the prospects, and losing him could ultimately prove costly.

While there are some talented right wing prospects in the pipeline, names like Christian Fischer and Nick Merkley may be a year or two away. Merkley, in particular, has no shot at the NHL this season due to his continued recovery from injury.

They may not be ready yet, but those names are there in waiting. Perhaps Rieder and his agent should consider that fact.

Rieder fits like a glove into the mold of players that John Chayka seems to be seeking. The young forward is already in the NHL and producing reasonably well, but it’s fair to say he’s not lighting the world on fire.

Those names behind him that are talented and touted, and that’s probably one of the biggest reasons that Chayka has yet to budge on the contract terms. The new boss has a lot of youngsters whom he hopes will command big money in the future.

A few thousand dollars saved here and there will go a long way towards completing negotiations with the likes of Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, and Dylan Strome should everything pans out.

In an ideal world, the two sides will come to a compromise and Tobias Rieder will help propel the Arizona Coyotes into a perennial contender.

Unfortunately, they are running out of time to make it happen.

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