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Arizona Coyotes sign Tobias Rieder to two-year deal

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Arizona’s last RFA is back under contract.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of heartache in the Arizona Coyotes’ universe about Tobias Rieder. Would he really flee to the KHL rather than come to terms with the Coyotes? Would he join a list of talented forwards like Blake Wheeler and Kyle Turris who spurned the Valley of the Sun? Was there someone else in the system whose name lent itself so easily to a “bae” nickname?

Thankfully, Coyotes fans no longer have to worry about the answer to any of those questions.

Per multiple reports, the Arizona Coyotes have signed Tobias Rieder to a two-year bridge contract worth $4.45 million.

Rieder had 14 goals and 23 assists with the Coyotes last season. His numbers were almost identical to Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov, who also received a two-year bridge deal worth approximately $1.9 million per year as an RFA this summer.

Acquired in 2011 from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Kale Kessy, Rieder was a welcome bonus to a forward corps largely devoid of high-end offensive talent. While Rieder has thrived for the Coyotes, Kessy has moved on to an AHL contract with the Manitoba Moose, and has yet to appear in an NHL game.

Rieder’s signing also leaves one less roster spot available on the wing for a rookie to take, so in the last few days of training camp the stakes will be extremely high for players like Lawson Crouse and Christian Fischer.

Where Rieder and the Coyotes go after this contract is an open question, as the two sides were not able to hammer out a long-term deal. But for now, Coyotes fans can rejoice in the fact that the final member of the highly potent Tobias Rieder - Martin Hanzal- Anthony Duclair line is back in the fold.