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Tobias Rieder signs two-year contract with Coyotes

Forward, general manager John Chayka happy to have business side of game behind them

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After restricted free agent forward Tobias Rieder signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, he and general manager John Chayka said there are no issues between them because of the extended negotiations.

Financial terms were not revealed, but The Arizona Republic reported an average annual value of $2.225 million. Rieder said he understood the process and was ready to focus on playing. He was preparing to travel from Toronto to Calgary, where the Coyotes have a preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

"I'm just really excited and really happy it's done," Rieder said. "I can't wait to join the team today and get things going. It was a long process, but that is the business side of hockey and everyone is just happy that it worked out."

Chayka said the drawn-out negotiations do not change his long-term vision for Rieder with the Coyotes.

"There's no issue whatsoever with that," Chayka said. "We like Tobi the player. We like Tobi the person. He fits in with exactly the type of player and culture we're trying to build here with young, fast, skilled players. I see him being a part of our future for a long time."

Video: EDM@ARI: Rieder beats Talbot on the power play

Rieder, who had 14 goals and 37 points in 82 games last season, shouldn't need much time in training camp to get up to speed. He played six games at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 for Team Europe, which advanced to the final before losing to Team Canada in two games.

"He had a long World Cup so he'll jump back in the fold and not miss a beat," Chayka said. 

The Coyotes appear set at left wing with Max Domi, unrestricted free agent signing Jamie McGinn, Rieder and second-year player Jordan Martinook filling the depth chart. Coaches have been impressed with rookie forward Lawson Crouse, acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers on Aug. 25.

Rieder, 23, was part of a young group with Domi, Anthony Duclair and Martinook that emerged last season. Rieder said he's looking forward to seeing how the addition of veterans McGinn, forward Radim Vrbata, and defensemen Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn, will impact it.

"It was already really exciting playing there last year with [the young players] and we made some good transactions in the offseason," Rieder said. "[Vrbata] gives us some skill and a veteran presence, and McGinn gives us some grit and another guy who can score goals. I'm excited to see what the mix looks like."

Video: ARI@ANA: Rieder lights lamp on Doan's feed

With Rieder signed the Coyotes have a little more than $72.1 million committed in salary this season, leaving them less than $1 million below the $73 million NHL salary cap, according to General Fanager. But not only has Chayka said he is not concerned, he prefers it to the alternative.

"I'm a little sick and tired of having all the [financial] flexibility in the world and not enough good players to do anything with it," he said.

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