The LA Kings may be able to fill out their top-six forwards with the addition of Coyotes restricted free agent Conor Garland.
While the Seattle expansion and NHL drafts are on the forefront, the NHL’s free agency frenzy period awaits at the end of the month. The LA Kings have already acquired Viktor Arvidsson from the Nashville Predators, and it appears they could be looking to make another deal in the not-so-distant future.
According to Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Kings are one of a handful of teams that have checked in on Coyotes’ forward Conor Garland.
Follow up to previous tweet: One player (among others) the Coyotes are very much trying to move is pending RFA Conor Garland. No contract discussions since end of season, belief is team’s preference is to move him. BOS, TOR, LA, FLA, SEA and more clubs have checked in.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 16, 2021
Garland, 25, is a restricted free agent this offseason, projected to receive a four-year deal at a $4.7M AAV, per Evolving Hockey. The former fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft accumulated 12 goals and 27 assists in 49 games this past season. He finished with the second-most points among Coyotes’ forwards and was linked to several teams at the NHL trade deadline.
He wasn’t moved, but it appears the two could be headed for a divorce in addition to a few other players while Arizona determines which direction they wish to proceed. According to Pagnotta, the Coyotes made it clear that the only ‘untouchable’ player is defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
As for Garland, there is an obvious fit for him in Los Angeles. He’s in his mid-20s, comes with team control, and can help the team score more goals. Garland and LA Kings’ Trevor Moore also developed tremendous chemistry playing on the same line for Team USA at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia, after the regular season ended. So there’s an added bonus.
Garland spent the majority of the 2021 season split evenly between the first and second-line right-winger position, and he’d be an excellent fit in Los Angeles at the RW2 spot. There’s no doubt the Kings would have to give up something to get something here, and they shouldn’t be afraid to part with picks or prospects.
Whether it be Garland and Sabres’ Sam Reinhart, both make a lot of sense to bring into the top-six forward group in Los Angeles.