Mikkel Boedker signed a two-year contract worth $2.55M per season with the Phoenix Coyotes. As a restricted free agent, the Coyotes had the exclusive rights to negotiate with Boedker or match any offer he received from another team.
Despite this leverage, and the fact that Boedker opted not to file for arbitration with the NHL, the Coyotes struggled to come to an agreement with the 23-year-old because, as Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reported based on conversations with Boedker's camp, the winger wanted a longer term deal.
Perhaps it's fair for Boedker to believe he deserved a longer-term contract; three of the Coyotes' marquee players, Mike Smith, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Mike Ribeiro, all received contracts of four years or greater within the past calendar year. As the Coyotes' top draft pick in 2008 and as a forward receiving top-6 minutes, it's reasonable for him to believe that he is an integral part of the Coyotes' future plans.
What likely made GMDM unwilling to give Boedker the longer contract he wanted is Mikkel's relative lack of consistency. After a torrid 2011-12 postseason where he scored four goals and four assists, Boedker started the 2013 season hot but faded down the stretch when the Coyotes needed his offense the most; in the last 10 games of the season Boeds only registered two assists.
Although Mikkel Boekder likely would have preferred a longer contract, perhaps this two-year stopgap deal is in the best interests of everybody involved. Boedker signs in time for training camp and avoids the negative attention that ultimately sent Kyle Turris to Ottawa. The Coyotes don't hitch their offensive wagon to a player they still aren't completely sold on, and Boedker gets two more seasons to prove that he is the top-6 forward the Coyotes want him to be.
After being drafted 8th overall in 2008, Boedker has played 256 NHL games, all with the Coyotes, and has recorded 34 goals and 95 points.