GLENDALE, Ariz. — Talks between the Coyotes and restricted free agent Tobias Rieder are ongoing, but it does not appear the sides are any closer to a deal.
A league source said Tuesday that Rieder’s camp is now looking for a two-year deal worth an average annual value of $2.75 million, but the Coyotes do not appear interested in such a deal. Rieder’s camp has also floated the ideas of a three-year deal (also with a $2.75 million AAV), and a four-year deal with an AAV of $3 million.
The same source said it is not true that Rieder’s camp initially asked for a deal with an AAV comparable to Nazem Kadri’s current $4.5 AAV with Toronto, as Arizona Sports previously reported.
Kadri’s complete contract history was just one of several used in an analytical breakdown of comparables. Also included on that list were players such as Buffalo’s Evander Kane and Tyler Ennis, Dallas’ Cody Eakin, Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli, Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund, Columbus’s Boone Jenner, Detroit’s Tomas Tatar, Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad, Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov and the Islanders Brock Nelson.
Arizona Sports reported previously that the Coyotes would likely offer somewhere between $2 million and $2.3 million per year on a two-year deal, and closer to $2.5 million on a three-year deal.
Rieder’s agent, Darren Ferris, told Arizona Sports recently that he has offers from KHL teams (believed to be in Metallurg & Omsk) with better money than the Coyotes are offering.
The KHL season begins on Aug. 22 and KHL training camps and preseason games have already begun, so if Rieder is planning to part ways with the Coyotes, he’ll likely have to make that decision soon.
UPDATE: Ferris said Thursday that the start of the KHL season would not impact contract talks. Rieder would wait on any decision to play in the KHL until after the World Cup of Hockey. Rieder is scheduled to play for Team Europe in that event from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto despite suffering a knee injury at the World Championships in May that was expected to sideline him four to six weeks.
VERMETTE BECOMES UFA
Former Coyotes center Antoine Vermette cleared unconditional waivers on Tuesday and officially became an unrestricted free agent. A league source said multiple teams have already inquired about Vermette’s services.
With the Coyotes on the hook for $1.25 million each of the next two years, Vermette could conceivably sign somewhere else for very little money, offering another team depth at the center position and an excellent faceoff man.
FISCHER, KELLER MAKE CUT
Coyotes prospects Christian Fischer and Clayton Keller survived cuts that trimmed the 2016 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp roster to 32 players on Tuesday, heading into the final four days of the camp.
Fischer, a right wing, was the Coyotes’ second-round pick in 2015 (32nd overall), and Keller, a center, was the team’s top pick this season (7th overall).
The camp, staged by USA Hockey, also includes teams from Canada, Finland and Sweden, and runs through Saturday with practices and games at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich.. Players are vying for roster spots on their respective federation teams that will compete in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 5, 2017, in Montreal and Toronto.