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Oilers CEO: If Rieder had 10-12 goals, 'we'd probably be in the playoffs'

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Bob Nicholson has found his scapegoat.

The Edmonton Oilers CEO criticized Tobias Rieder at length at a breakfast for season-ticket holders Thursday, according to the Edmonton Journal's Bruce McCurdy.

Nicholson said the Oilers won't re-sign Rieder at season's end, lamented that he hasn't scored a goal with the club and has "missed so many breakaways," and added that if the struggling forward "would have scored 10 or 12 goals, we'd probably be in the playoffs."

The executive said that other teams wanted Rieder in free agency last summer, but the 26-year-old signed with the Oilers for one year because he wanted to play with fellow German national Leon Draisaitl.

"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 (extension) at $3.5 million (annually)," Nicholson said.

The Oilers CEO opened his remarks at the breakfast by saying he wouldn't throw anyone under the bus, according to McCurdy.

Nicholson later apologized to Rieder and admitted he "stepped out of bounds," according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Rieder has 11 assists in 59 games with the Oilers this season. He signed with Edmonton last July 1 after mustering 12 goals and 13 assists in 78 contests split between the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings in 2017-18.

The Oilers entered Thursday's action with a minus-38 goal differential and sit seven points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

Oilers CEO: If Rieder had 10-12 goals, 'we'd probably be in the playoffs'
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