Coyotes acquire goalie Kuemper from Kings for Rieder, Wedgewood
The 27-year-old Kuemper was 10-1-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average in 19 games for the Kings this season. He’s 51-35-17 with a 2.52 GAA in 104 career games with Minnesota and Los Angeles.
The 6-foot-5 Kuemper will join No. 1 goalie Antti Raanta as the netminding pair for the Coyotes.
“Our team, when we’ve gotten quality goaltending, has played very well. This gives us two goaltenders that we are very confident in,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. “When I look at our season, I feel like our season could have gone differently with better goaltending early on.”
The Coyotes, with Raanta opening the season unavailable due to injury, lost their first 11 games. Raanta has played in 35 of the team’s 59 games.
“You need great goaltending in this league in order to be successful and with Antti and Darcy, we are confident that we have an excellent tandem for the future,” Chayka said in a statement from the team.
Kuemper and the Coyotes were finalizing a contract extension Wednesday night. He said he is excited to be part of the growth of an Arizona franchise with a lot of young players.
He knows Raanta is the top goalie at present.
“I’m just going to come in and work hard and try to earn as many starts as I can,” Kuemper said. “I’m not coming in with any expectations.”
The 25-year-old Rieder, from Germany, had eight goals and 11 assists in 58 games for Arizona this season. He has 51 goals and 60 assists in 292 career games, all with the Coyotes.
“We continue to look for opportunities to improve our team speed, and Tobias will bring that dynamic to our club,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said in a team statement. “We appreciate Darcy Kuemper’s contributions this season as he has played very well for us in his role.”
Chayka said Rieder was deemed expendable with a number of other wingers with strong left shots, both with Arizona and in the minor leagues.
Wedgewood was 5-9-4 with a 3.45 GAA in 20 games this season for Arizona. The 25-year-old goalie appeared in four games for New Jersey in 2015-16.
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