The LA Kings figure to be in the market for more scoring this summer, and they could swing another deal similar to how they landed Viktor Arvidsson in early July last year. One name that has been picking up some steam is Minnesota Wild forward Kevin Fiala.
Heading into the offseason, Minnesota will have approximately $7.4 million in available cap space, according to CapFriendly. General manager Bill Guerin will have to get creative to retain the team’s free agents, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to keep all of them. Fiala is a restricted free agent coming off a 33-goal season.
Per his Instagram, he may have said his goodbyes to the Wild.
Per Evolving Hockey, the 25-year-old is projected to fetch an eight-year contract at $9.4 million AAV.
As such, The Athletic‘s Michael Russo recently looked at what the Wild could get for the Swiss forward, and he has the Kings as a potential suitor.
L.A. is a structured team that controls play well. What the Kings lack is dynamic game-breakers, as evidenced by their NHL-worst shooting percentage in the regular season. Besides Adrian Kempe, the Kings are still looking for their next offensive star. Fiala would be a sure thing, a guaranteed top-line contributor for years to come. L.A. is projected to have oodles of cap space this summer and is asset rich with one of the NHL’s deepest prospect pools, meaning it checks the boxes to make a trade happen logistically.
Russo likens a potential Fiala trade to the Sam Reinhart trade that went down between Buffalo and Florida last summer.
If you recall, Buffalo received a 2022 first-round pick and goalie Devon Levi. He wonders if a similar deal would get a Fiala deal across the finish line.
From the Kings’ perspective, this trade makes a lot of sense, maybe not financially, but certainly for the player.
For what it’s worth, Fiala’s projected contract is about what Evolving Hockey sees Nashville Predators Filip Forsberg getting in free agency.
The Kings have approximately $20.6 million in cap space heading into the offseason. They have a number of restricted and unrestricted free agents to kick the tires on, but Dustin Brown‘s retirement creates extra financial flexibility.
Certainly, Kempe’s next contract muddies the waters in terms of what the Kings might have left to work with financially.
As far as the return, Los Angeles will have the No. 19 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NHL draft.
An argument can be made that sending that to Minnesota to acquire a proven goal-scorer would make more sense than hoping a draft pick pans out in three to five years to the player Fiala is right now.
Let’s hear from you: should the Kings acquire Kevin Fiala?