Phoenix general manager Bobby Smith said Tuesday that forward Robert Reichel won't play for the Coyotes next season and the team is open to reasonable trade offers.
"I feel he will play in the Czech Republic," Smith told The Tribune, a newspaper serving suburban Phoenix. "We won't have him. It has come to the point where I can see us trading him and we will look into that if someone makes a reasonable offer."
"Travis Green is our No. 2 center (behind Jeremy Roenick), and with Daniel Briere and Juha Ylonen we feel like we will be fine at that position."
Reichel, obtained in a March 20 trade with the New York Islanders for forward Brad Isbister, played 13 regular season and seven playoff games with the Coyotes before becoming a restricted free agent.
His 70 points last season (including 14 in 13 games with Phoenix) were two points behind Roenick, who led the Coyotes. Reichel had 10 points came in his first seven games as a Coyote, but faltered during the playoffs against St. Louis.
Smith said talks with Reichel's agent, Paul Kraus, have gone nowhere this summer. Reichel, who made $1.7 million last season, has been seeking a multiyear contract beginning at more than $3 million a season.
Kraus said in July that Reichel would rather play in the NHL but staying home in the Czech Republic is a viable option. He also intimated that the price to sign Reichel was rising during the summer apparently something that led Smith to sever all further negotiations.
"I told him to lose my phone number," Smith said of Smith.
The Coyotes still have three other unsigned restricted free agents: goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, forward Shane Doan and defenseman Stan Neckar.
The Coyotes issued three different contract proposals a three-year, a four-year and a five-year package to Khabibulin's agent, Jay Grossman, in June. Smith said Grossman has not submitted a counteroffer but expects talks to heat up with training camp scheduled to open for veterans in a little more than three weeks.
"I remain confident that we will come to a deal that will work for Nik and work for us," Smith said. "We'll see what happens."
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed