According to a report from TSN analyst and NHL insider Frank Seravalli, the Los Angeles Kings will not qualify pending restricted free agent Tobias Rieder. This means that he’ll hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
LAKings will not be qualifying 25-year-old forward Tobias Rieder ($2.25m), making him a potential UFA on July 1.
The 25 year old winger split the 2017-18 season between the Kings and the Arizona Coyotes and managed to put up a combined 12 goals and 25 points in 68 games. While those aren’t exactly eye popping numbers, Rieder did manage 16 goals and 34 points a year prior. The year before that he managed a career high 37 points in 82 games with the Coyotes, so it’s clear that there’s some untapped offensive potential there.
Originally drafted in the fourth round (114th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Rieder has 55 goals and 117 points in 312 career NHL games. And, while he’s not hitting 50 goals in a season anytime soon, he could still be a cheap pick up for a team looking to add some offensive punch. Could a rebuilding team like the Detroit Red Wings or Vancouver Canucks find a spot in their lineup for the native of Landshut, Germany? Or maybe a team like the Chicago Blackhawks comes calling? The Pittsburgh Penguins could certainly use a winger to push both Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust, but they've been linked to former Pens winger Chris Kuntiz, as well.
For what it's worth, the Kings are also in desperate need of offense and they seem just fine walking away from Rieder. Maybe that should serve as a bit of a warning to interested parties?
UPDATE: Kings insider Jon Rosen confirmed the news with Kings hockey operations.
Hockey ops confirms Rieder will not receive a qualifying offer. Eligible to become a free agent on 7/1. As reported by @FriedgeHNIC in today’s 31 Thoughts.
QO could’ve cost $2.45M. With LAK signing Kovalchuk, likeliness of that offer was low. (Fwiw, last LA King to sign with the club without receiving a QO as an RFA was Ellerby in 2013.)