Ice hockey: Among the Swiss, only Roman Josi is even better paid than Kevin Fiala

Ice hockey: Among the Swiss, only Roman Josi is even better paid than Kevin Fiala

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The St. Gallen forward is moving from the Minnesota Wild to the Los Angeles Kings, where he signed a seven-year contract worth $55 million. Fiala has hit the jackpot and becomes the second highest paid Swiss in the NHL.

Kevin Fiala (here in 2020 before a Wild match in Gothenburg) changes locker room and will now earn his living in California, with the Kings.

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Fifty-five million. In dollars, it’s the jackpot that Kevin Fiala (25) obtained from the Los Angeles Kings, who in return offered the Minnesota Wild a first-round draft pick (the 19th in the next draft to be held in Montreal next Thursday) as well as a hopeful who was notably part of the American selection at the Beijing Olympics (defender Brock Faber).

According to several “Insiders” in North America, the New Jersey Devils of Nico Hischier, the Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders were also strongly interested in securing the services of Fiala, whose contract situation in Minnesota had become hopeless. : for payroll reasons, the Wild were unable to re-sign the Swiss international striker.

Fifty-five million. The Swiss international hit the jackpot with the Kings, a very promising franchise but still in the terminal phase of reconstruction after having had its moments of glory in 2012 and 2014 with two Stanley Cup conquests.

With 7.875 million dollars per season, Kevin Fiala will however have to justify the investment made by the California franchise, of which he will instantly become the number one offensive winger. He is now the second highest paid Swiss in the NHL, just behind Roman Josi (9 million per season in Nashville).

A status that he could however lose in 2023 when Timo Meier, whose contract will expire with the San Jose Sharks, will become a free agent and can in turn win the jackpot, with the Sharks or elsewhere in the NHL. The 25-year-old Appenzeller (35 goals last season) is currently earning $6 million in Northern California, San Jose.

Fiala’s advantage remains his age. At only 25 years old, the Kings will thus enjoy the best years of the Saint-Gallois striker’s career.

If the silver medalist at the World Championship with Switzerland in 2018 received so much money, it is also because he took some risks last season by signing a one-year contract worth only $5.1 million with the Wild, where he had been playing since 2019 after being traded by the Nashville Predators.

Roman Josi’s former Preds teammate – who picked him 11th in the 2014 draft – bet on himself by signing only for a year and his calculation was correct: he had the best statistical season of his career at the best time.

Record season at 85 points

In Minnesota last season, Fiala pulled out all the stops at the forefront of the offense. His 33 goals and 85 points in the regular season (personal best) are there to attest.

Only downside: Fiala has never really performed in the play-off. He didn’t score a single goal in six playoff games last season and had just one the season before.

At the Kings, where he will be supported by the two stars of the team, center and captain Anze Kopitar (34) and defender Drew Doughty (32), he will have seven years to demonstrate the opposite. His contract also offers him a certain “job” security and Fiala can envisage his long-term future under the California sun.

It indeed has a “No trade clause” which will come into force next summer, that is to say that it cannot be traded without its agreement until the fourth year. He could then only be traded to another franchise under certain conditions and according to a list of teams that he himself has defined.

In 419 NHL appearances, Fiala scored 124 goals and provided 159 assists for a total of 283 points. The Kings have bet on the Swiss’ offensive potential for the next seven years.


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