One day after Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson called out Tobias Rieder at a breakfast for season ticket owners, the forward said he was disappointed and offended by the comments.
"You kind of can't believe it," Rieder told reporters. "I feel like it's disappointing and I'm offended by it. I'm the first one to admit I haven't had a good year. It went a little too far and (Nicholson) knows that ... I thought the timing was a bit weird, we're still fighting for the playoffs ... I'm still going to do my best."
Rieder added his teammates agreed that Nicholson's comments were not appropriate. "We talked before the game and they don't think it was right either," he continued. "...it's good to know they have my back."
Rieder has been held goal-less in 60 games for the Oilers this season, with the 26-year-old recording 11 assists. Nicholson implied to season ticket owners on Thursday that Rieder's offensive struggles were the reason that the Oilers are not in a playoff spot.
"Toby Rieder will not be signed by the Edmonton Oilers at the end of this year," he said. "Toby was a player that other teams wanted. He came here for one year because he wanted to play with Leon Draisaitl, who he plays with on the German national team. He thought if he wasn't playing with Leon he'd be playing with Connor (McDavid), he'd score 15-16 goals, and instead of making $2 million he'd sign a four-year deal [extension] at $3.5 million. Toby Rieder hasn't scored a goal. Toby Rieder has missed so many breakaways. If Toby Rieder would have scored 10 or 12 goals, we'd probably be in the playoffs."
Rieder had a career-high 16 goals with the Arizona Coyotes in 2016-17. He split last season between the Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings, finishing with 12 goals.
Nicholson told TSN that he had a conversation with Rieder after his comments and admitted he stepped out of bounds, and that Rieder accepted Nicholson's apology.