ARIZONA ADDS GOALTENDER DARCY KUEMPER
The Arizona Coyotes acquired goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the Los Angeles Kings for winger Tobias Rieder and goaltender Scott Wedgewood.
What does it give the Arizona Coyotes
This is a very interesting deal from an Arizona perspective. Adding Kuemper (and then re-signing him immediately to a new two-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $1.85 million) gives the Coyotes an insurance policy in case they are unable to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Antti Raanta. While Raanta has been excellent in 2017-18 (35 GP, 12-14-6, 1 SO, 2.45 GAA, .924 Sv%), his first season as Arizona's starter, he has also proven to be injury-prone. Kuemper, who has been even better as LA's backup this season (19 GP, 10-1-3, 3 SO, 2.10 GAA, .932 GAA), could help give the 'Yotes a great tandem moving forward (if Raanta is re-signed).
What does it give the Los Angeles Kings
For the Kings, this is a very solid move from their end as well. Los Angeles needed another skilled forward to complete their lineup puzzle (especially after they traded away veteran Marian Gaborik, who struggled badly this season, to Ottawa in the recent Dion Phaneuf trade). Enter Rieder, a versatile speedster who can kill penalties and score points in streaks. The German winger can play on either side of center, so he will also provide head coach John Stevens with more lineup options. As for Wedgewood, he is a capable backup who should settle into his new role behind Kings No. 1 man Jonathan Quick fairly smoothly down the stretch.
This deal helps all three players involved in this trade from a fantasy perspective. Kuemper has a much better chance at becoming a No. 1 goaltender in Arizona, especially if Raanta departs this summer. At worse, Kuemper is a very solid No. 1A option for the Coyotes, and a good addition for fantasy leaguers in 2018-19. Rieder will probably play a complementary role in LA, but he should be surrounded by better talent. Therefore, his fantasy stock is on the upswing. Wedgewood's numbers will be better in LA than they were in Arizona, though he is now strictly a backup. He is a nice fantasy handcuff option for all Quick owners at present time.