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Rieder, Wedgewood traded to Kings by Coyotes for Kuemper

Forward, goalie go to Los Angeles for goalie @NHL

Forward Tobias Rieder and goalie Scott Wedgewood were traded to the Los Angeles Kings by the Arizona Coyotes for goalie Darcy Kuemper on Wednesday.

Rieder had 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 58 games with the Coyotes this season after signing a two-year contract with Arizona on Oct. 4, 2016. He can become a restricted free agent July 1.

"What I've been looking for is speed and scoring," Kings general manager Rob Blake said. "He adds a much-needed element of speed on the left side. ... Ideally, when we're healthy, you have Rieder, [Adrian] Kempe and [Trevor] Lewis on a line, you've got a lot of speed. We've been targeting that type of a player here for a little while."


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Rieder had 111 points (51 goals, 60 assists) in 292 games with the Coyotes.

"He's 25 and he fits into what we were looking for," Blake said. "We've got speed on every line. I think he's a legitimate top-nine forward on our team."

The Coyotes signed Kuemper to a two-year contract Thursday. He could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Arizona general manager John Chayka said he'd like to re-sign goaltender Antti Raanta, who also can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, and have him and Kuemper as the Coyotes' goalies next season.

"We are very pleased to sign Darcy to a two-year contract extension," Chayka said. "You need two goalies to win in this league. Antti is one and now we feel confident that we've got the second one in Darcy.

"Our team, when we've gotten consistent quality goaltending, has played very well. For us, this gives us two quality goaltenders that we feel confident can do an above-average job of stopping the puck. We think we have a good group of young forwards that are growing, so the ability to add another quality goalie that can come in and do the job is really important."

Kuemper was 10-1-3 with a 2.10 GAA, a .932 save percentage and three shutouts in 19 games backing up Jonathan Quick for the Kings this season. Kuemper's save percentage is second in the NHL to Carter Hutton of the St. Louis Blues (.938) among goalies who have played at least 15 games.

"I've had some really good work with [Kings] goalie coach Bill Ranford, who really helped me find my game and tweak it to the point where I felt really comfortable just going out and playing," Kuemper said. "I really have been able to find my game this year."

Video: Billy and Ken on the trade between Kings and Coyotes

Kuemper signed a one-year contract for $650,000 as an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2017, after playing five seasons with the Minnesota Wild. He is 51-35-17 with a 2.52 GAA, a .913 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 121 NHL games.

"I'm super excited," the 27-year-old said. "It's a great opportunity to join a young, up-and-coming team, and it's exciting to be a part of it and to be a part of that growth."

Wedgewood was traded to the Coyotes by the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 28 for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. He was 5-9-4 with a 3.45 goals-against average, a .893 save percentage and one shutout in 20 games with Arizona, and is 7-10-5 with a 3.05 GAA, a .903 save percentage and two shutouts in 24 NHL games with the Devils and Coyotes. The 25-year-old can become a restricted free agent July 1.

"I'm not sure we could have went to the term that [Kuemper] was going to get in Arizona, the two years and that," Blake said. "All along, we've known we were buying time for a year for Jack Campbell. We want to give him an opportunity. He's earned it. He's played really well in the American Hockey League. That all kind of came into play. Darcy has been terrific for us, probably way more than expected than when we signed him during the summer."

The Kings (33-22-5, 71 points) are tied for third place in the Pacific Division heading into their home game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-SW, NHL.TV). Los Angeles, the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota are tied for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Coyotes (17-32-10, 44 points) are 27 points out of the second wild card.

"When I look at our season, I feel like our season could have gone differently with some better goaltending early on, and to rely just on one guy you're obviously susceptible to injuries or a guy has a bad stretch and it can really hurt the team," Chayka said. "So the ability to add another quality goalie at the 27-year-old age where goalies can really start solidifying their performance and find what they're able to do, we felt confident in Darcy's ability to step in and do a nice job for us." staff writers Tom Gulitti and Lisa Dillman contributed to this report.

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