When you take a look at the Arizona Coyotes' roster, it's very noticable that the team has some talent.
That talent level was upgraded stubstantially when GM John Chayka pulled another rabbit out his hat by acquiring a key piece to the puzzle when he traded with the Florida Panthers to land Lawson Crouse.
Is Rieder gone because Crouse has been added?
Crouse is a brusing 6' 4", 220 pound left wing who Chayka obviously coveted in his scheme to make the Coyotes a playoff contender.
So, where does that leave another famililar left wing by the name of Tobias Rieder?
Maybe out of a job -- at least with the Arizona Coyotes.
Rieder and the team have yet to come to a contract agreement, since he has fulfilled his entry level contract, and looks to sign a deal equal to his abilities.
Thus far, GM Chayka has been a tough negociator, and there has been some mention that Rieder may jump ship and go play in the KHL. He is a native of Germany, so that is not far-fetched.
What is Rieder's worth?
Rieder's agent, Darren Ferris, beleives that his client should be able to pull in a $4.5 contract based on his statistics, but realistically Rieder has been looking for at least a two-year deal worth $2.75 million a year.
Now, that may be true when you look at the fact that Rieder's CF% of 49.8 (the amount of time that the team possessed the puck with him on the ice) puts him in the position to demand a contract of that value.
Remember that Chayka is an analytics expert. When you look further at Rieder's +/- numbers, you see a different story. Over the past two seasons, that number is a very discouraging -40.
Some say this analytic is misguided.
In Rieder's case this could be true, since he was on the ice to kill penalties, on an average of two minutes a game, and the team as a whole was not a very good penalty killing unit with a 77.3 success ratio, ranking them 28th in the NHL.
And, who can forget his awesome feat to score two short-handed goals in :58?
The other knock on Rieder is his shooting percentage. He only had a 7.4 per cent, which ranked him 17th on the team. His speed helps create shots, but his success ratio may not meet Chayka's criteria to reward him with a contract, which now may not happpen.
What's the salary cap situation?
You see, with all the improvements Chayka has accomplished, the team now has only $2,342,160 of salary cap space available. They took on the $16.5 million three-year contract of Dave Bolland in the deal to acquire Crouse.
Of course it looks like Bolland will not be playing in the "forseeable future" according to Chayka, due to nagging injuries which will place him on the injured reserve list. With that being said, that means the Coyotes would only be on the hook for $1.1 this season for Bolland's contract, but it won't free up any more cap space.
Whether or not Chayka wants to keep Rieder is yet to be determined. What appears to be true is even if Chayka wanted to keep Rieder, there is very little room for him on the roster. There's just that much talent on this team.
It appears more and more that he will be traded, and he could bring some draft picks back to replace the two lost in the Crouse/Bolland trade. Or, he could be packaged in another deal with one of the many prospects on the team to bring a top four defenseman like Jacob Trouba of the Winnipeg Jets to the desert.
Then again, the team already has ten defensemen on their roster. Some, like Jamie McBain, Anthony DeAngelo, and Klas Dahlbeck could be playing in Tucson for the AHL Roadrunners.
What also must be considered is that with huge forward Crouse appearing to be NHL ready, Rieder may have become expendable.
It happens to every NHL player at some point in their career.
Perhaps, Tobias Rieder didn't expect for it to happen to him this soon.