The Minnesota Wild have traded the rights of forward Kevin Fiala to the Los Angeles Kings. In return, the Wild received the Kings’ first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and defensemen prospect and Minnesota Gophers Captain Brock Faber.

Fiala started his career with the Nashville Predators but was traded to the Wild in February of 2019 for center Mikael Granlund. He is coming off his best season as a pro, scoring 33 goals and adding 52 assists.

Boldy to the Rescue

Fiala and linemate Freddy Gaudreau started last season very slowly. But the line caught fire when winger Matt Boldy was recalled from the Iowa Wild in January of this year. Fiala finished the season as one of the hottest players in the league. Coach Dean Evason and the Wild hoped that he would be a key contributor to a long playoff run.

But Fiala had another disappointing playoff series that saw him record only three assists. Worse yet, the Minnesota Wild were bounced out of the playoffs by the St. Louis Blues in six games. And then the trade rumors started.

The Wild Have Salary Cap Issues

The biggest contributing factor to the trade was the fact that the Wild only have $8.18 million in salary cap available to sign Fiala and their other five free agents. The team will have to deal with the repercussions of the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts to the tune of $12.7 million next year. As Wild GM Bill Guerin said, “It just didn’t fit. To retain Fiala, we would have had to trade three guys.”

As for Fiala, the Kings are expected to sign him to a contract with a seven-year extension. The contract is valued at $7.875 million a year. Speculation is that Fiala will join the Kings’ first line with Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe relacing Alex Iafallo.

The Wild Look to Rossi

And as for the Minnesota Wild, all is not lost. They still retain Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek, Captain Jared Spurgeon, and a solid cast that helped them win a franchise-record 53 games last season.  And the team will also look forward to the arrival of high-flying center, former first-round draft choice, Marco Rossi. Hopefully, he helps the team enjoy another successful regular season coupled with a much longer playoff run.

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Greg Simbeck

Freelance writer who loves telling an informative, creative, and compelling story. I am open to write about anything, but my emphasis is on sports in the Midwest. I look forward to telling you a good story and receiving your comments.

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