Tobias Rieder Signing, Cody Hodgson’s Job, Gudas Hit & More

The NHL offseason would be nothing without controversy. Sometimes, the narrative isn’t as clear-cut as teams, players, fans, and management would like. For that reason, Coyotes fans are liking breathing a sigh of relief now that 23-year-old forward Tobias Rieder has finally agreed to terms on a two-year extension with the Coyotes. The deal will come with an annual cap hit of $2.225, and was originally reported by Sportsnet’ Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman.

This new contract come just one week after Rieder’s agent, Dan Ferris, made it known that his client would not be attending Arizona’s training camp without a new contract. the former restricted free agent scored 14 goals and 37 points in 82 games last year and was a big part of the Coyotes forward group. With a new two-year deal in place, Rieder and the Coyotes can seemingly put this whole mess behind them just in time for the NHL’s regular season.

Even though Rieder hasn’t been skating with the Coyotes this preseason, he’s still been able to keep himself in peak hockey-form. Most recently, Rieder was able to help Team Europe reach the World Cup of Hockey finals against team Canada. The German-born player managed one assist and seven shots in six games. Despite not winning the tournament, the experience was invaluable for the 23-year-old, especially given the fact that German-born players typically don’t get to skate with top-end talent across an entire roster during International play. The Team Europe concept allowed him, and many others, to compete, despite their nationality.

Cody Hodgson Takes Job With Predators Staff

Cody Hodgson’s NHL career hasn’t exactly gone the way many expected it to. After being selected with the 10th overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Hodgson was expected to be one of the league’s best forward. Fast-forward to 2016 and the 26-year-old failed to receive a qualifying offer from the Nashville Predators, effectively making him a free agent. Now, Hodgson has taken a new job with the Predators’ youth hockey program which seeks to teach youth about the fundamentals of hockey.

Hodgson will take his talents, as well as his knowledge of the game of hockey, and pay it forward to the players of tomorrow with the Little Preds Learn to Play program. The program is offered at six ice rinks across Tennessee, Alabama, and Indiana, and deals with over 1,200 youth ages four to eight. There arguably isn’t a better available to teach some lessons to these youth that Hodgson, given the fact that he has lived the life of becoming a top prospect, and ultimately dealing with the adversity that comes with trying to be an NHL star.

In 328 total NHL games split between the Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, and Nashville Predators, Hodgson scored 64 goals and 142 points. His best season came in 2013-14 with the Sabres when he scored 20 goals and 44 points in 72 games.

Radko Gudas Ejected for Hit on Jimmy Vesey

There was arguably no story bigger in the second-half of the NHL offseason this year than the Jimmy Vesey saga. Now that Vesey is an NHL player, he’s going to have to deal with adversity. From added pressure, to the New York media and fan base judging his every move, to the occasional controversial hit.

In Monday’s preseason tilt between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, Radko Gudas took liberties with one of the NHL’s newest stars and hit Vesey from behind into the board in the first period. This is nothing new for Gudas, who has a history of making these types of plays throughout his career. Following the game, Rangers’ head coach Alain Vigneault didn’t shy away from mentioning as much.

“I’ve seen that hit many times before from that player,” Vigneault said, according to New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis. “I’ll just leave it at that.”
Gudas was ultimately given a five-minute major penalty for boarding, as well as a game misconduct. Vesey seemed to be fine in the end, returning to the game early in the second period looking no worse for wear.

Odds and Ends

– The Arizona Coyotes have gotten rid of their old taglines and apologized to fans. The new motto is “No taglines. No promises. No excuses. This comes in the wakes of the team looking to reinvent itself for much of the offseason

– Jakub Chychrun is likely to start the regular in Arizona with the Coyotes